Caterpillar, 3M Sink the Dow Tuesday

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April 24, 2018: Markets opened higher again Tuesday but soon sank to losses and just kept falling throughout the trading session. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds finally topped 3% early this morning and combined with lackluster earnings and cautious guidance from some blue chippers, stocks never had a chance to fly higher. Home prices rose sharply again and sales of new homes also posted a solid gain.

WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $67.70 a barrel, down 1.4% for the day. June gold added about 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,333.00. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 2.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 1.66%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 2.04%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $9,410, up about 6% on the CBOE after opening at $8,970 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,940 to $9,450.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) which traded down 6.99% at $200.78. The stock’s 52-week range is $192.36 to $259.77. Volume was about four times the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The company reported so-so results this morning and lowered earnings guidance.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 6.10% at $144.60. The stock’s 52-week range is $97.74 to $173.24. Volume was about three times the daily average of around 6.1 million. The company’s earnings were solid, but on the conference call the CFO said that this would be the year’s best quarter.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded down 3.98% at $62.99 in a 52-week range of $59.29 to $77.08. Volume of about 10.2 million shares was about 10% above the daily average. The company had no specific news, but industrials got hammered today.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded down 3.48% at $132.45. The stock’s 52-week range is $113.76 to $150.55. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 10.7 million. The company reported results this morning that were better than expected for earnings, but light on revenues.

Of the Dow stocks, 6 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 24 are set to close lower.

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