Verizon, McDonald’s Trim the Dow Wednesday

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May 2, 2018: Markets opened lower again Wednesday but none of the major indexes strayed far from the break-even line. Apple’s quarterly earnings buoyed the Nasdaq in today’s session, but the Fed’s announcement that the policy interest rate will not change and that inflation is not yet a significant concern.

WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $67.81 a barrel, up 0.8% for the day. U.S. crude oil inventories jumped but prices more than held their own. June gold dropped about 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,305.60, the yellow metal’s second-straight 2 month low closing price. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.74% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.72%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.34%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $9,090, up about 1.3% on the CBOE after opening at $9,050 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,890 to $9,200.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) which traded down 2.60% at $47.55 in a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.77. Volume of about 11.7 million shares was about 25% below the daily average. The company had no specific news.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded down 2.02% at $128.44. The stock’s 52-week range is $113.76 to $150.55. Volume was about 20% higher than the daily average of around 1.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded down 1.89% at $123.63. The stock’s 52-week range is $122.15 to $148.32. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 7.7 million. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 1.69% at $160.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $141.40 to $178.70. Volume was nearly 35% below the daily average of around 5 million. The company had no specific news. Of four large fast-food companies, McDonald’s probably had the best quarter.

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

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