General Electric, Microsoft Tank the Dow Tuesday

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March 13, 2018: Markets opened higher again Tuesday following a report on consumer prices that was inline with expectations. The President’s squashing of Broadcom’s hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm and his firing of former Exxon CEO and now former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson didn’t interest investors much. So what has been sinking equity prices today? Slow wage growth is one possibility, but that doesn’t seem like enough.

WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $60.71 a barrel, down 1.1% for the day. April gold added about 0.5% on the day to settle at $1,327.10. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.82% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.78%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 1.17%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $9,050, flat on the CBOE after opening at $9,050 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,820 to $9,490.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded down 4.4% at $14.44. Volume of more than 105 million shares was about 20% above the daily average. Some harsh words from J.P. Morgan analysts and a price target cut to $11 slammed the stock today.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded down 2.72% at $94.15. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.12 to $97.24, and the high was posted early this morning. Volume was equal to the daily average of nearly 30 million shares. Court documents released today show that women at Microsoft’s U.S. operations filed 238 gender discrimination or sexual harassment actions against the company between 2010 and 2016.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 2.56% at $95.17. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.51 to $102.39. Volume was about equal to the daily average of about 3.9 million. The company had no specific news today.

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded down 1.88% at $337.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $173.75 to $371.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.5 million. The company rolled out its 10,000th 737 single-aisle passenger out of its Washington plant today.

Of the Dow stocks, 7 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 23 are set to close lower.

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