February 1, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday and bounced around the break-even line for most of the day. Falling bond sales are pushing yields on 10-year Treasuries to near 2.8%. For some reason, some traders are worried about inflation as the labor market continues to tighten implying growth in wages and, ultimately, higher prices. If that happens, the Fed might raise interest rates more quickly which could cool off borrowing and future investment.
WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $65.80 a barrel, up 1.7% for the day. April (now the most traded contract) gold added about 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,347.90. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.11% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.15%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.34%.
Bitcoin futures for February delivery traded at $8,920, down about 10.4% on the CBOE after opening at $9,970 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,4600 to $10,190.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) which traded down 2.78% at $73.48. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.29 to $77.08. Volume was about 35% above the daily average of around 7.4 million. The company met 2017 expectations for earnings and profits this morning, but the outlook for 2018 was disappointing..
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded down 1.34%% at $247.14. The stock’s 52-week range is $173.55 to $259.77. Volume was around 2 million shares, about equal to the daily average. The company had no specific news.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded down 1.15%% at $47.58. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $50.85. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 33 million shares. The company had no specific news.
The stock posting the largest gain on the DJIA today was Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) which traded 2.08% at $89.12. The stock’s 52-week range is $76.05 to $89.30. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 10 million shares. The company reports results Friday morning.
Of the Dow stocks, 14 are on track to close higher Thursday and 16 are set to close lower.