February 28, 2018: Markets opened higher Wednesday and bobbed around the break even line for most of the day The fourth-quarter GDP growth rate was trimmed from a prior estimate of 2.6% to 2.5%, but that was not enough to smother concern about a fourth interest rate hike this year by the Fed. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked down and the dollar ticked higher.
WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $61.64 a barrel, down 2.2% for the day and 4% for the month following a larger-than expected increase in U.S. inventories. April gold dropped less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,317.90, down about 1.8% for the month. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 1.26% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.92%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.64%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $10,670, about flat on the CBOE after opening at $10,660 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $10,340 to $11,040.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 3.44% at $155.72. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.34 to $173.24. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 5.5 million. The company had no specific news Wednesday, but check out what a $1,000 investment in Cat stock back in 2009 would be worth today.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 2.45% at $14.15. The stock’s 52-week range is $13.95 to $30.54. Volume was around 66 million shares, about 25% below the daily average of about 87 million. The company had no specific news.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded down 2.35% at $70.67. 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.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded down 2.25% at $227.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $162.74 to $250.79. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 7 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 23 are set to close lower.