Disney, Merck Lead Slide in the Dow Tuesday

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February 27, 2018: Markets opened mixed Tuesday and took a nosedive following comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell who hinted that interest rates may have to move higher more quickly. We noted 10 key takeaways from Powell’s appearance before a U.S. House committee. And while consumer confidence leaped, new orders for durable goods tumbled and home prices continued to rise. All in all, a mixed day, but one with more bad news than good if the market’s reaction is any guide.

WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $63.01 a barrel, down 1.4% for the day. April gold dropped 1.1% on the day to settle at $1,318.60. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.86% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.96%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.96%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $10,610, up about 2.7% on the CBOE after opening at $10,350 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $10,120 to $10,850.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) which traded down 4.33% at $105.05. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $116.10. Volume was about 30% higher than the daily average of around 9 million. The company’s bid for parts of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire were stirred up by Comcast’s announced offer for Sky-TV.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 2.22% at $54.81. The stock’s 52-week range is $53.36 to $66.80. Volume was around 6.6 million shares, about half the daily average of about 13.2 million. The company had no specific news.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded down 1.38% at $72.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.29 to $77.08. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 8.1 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 1.80% at $68.40. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $70.25, and the high was posted early this morning. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 8.8 million shares. The company won an appeal over its use of an iconic Michael Jordan photo.

Of the Dow stocks, just 4 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 26 are set to close lower.