March 12, 2018: Markets opened higher again Monday but worries about the industrials sector soon sent the S&P 500 and the Dow into negative territory. The so-called Goldilocks jobs numbers from Friday continued to generate more inflation fears along with a quicker rate of tightening by the Fed.
WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $61.36 a barrel, down 1.1% for the day. April gold dropped about 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,320.80. Equities were headed for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.34% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.10%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.57%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $8,930, down about 2.5% on the CBOE after opening at $9,450 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,900 to $9,960.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Monday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded down 2.65% at $345.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $173.75 to $371.60. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 5.5 million. The company had no specific news, but tariffs are not good news for industrials firms that export a lot of expensive products.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 2.27% at $154.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.34 to $173.24. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 6 million shares. The company had no specific news today, but, as with Boeing, tariffs are not good for the heavy equipment maker.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded down 1.98% at $131.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $109.10 to $139.24. Volume was half the daily average of about 4.8 million. Another industrials firm that gets whacked when tariff talk heats up.
Intel Corp. (NYSE: INTC) traded down 1.35% at $51.49. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $52.30. Volume was about 33% below the daily average of around 33.4 million shares. A weekend report that Intel might make a mega-offer for Broadcom gave investors heartburn. In our view, the deal is not likely to happen.
Of the Dow stocks, 11 are on track to close higher Monday and 19 are set to close lower.