May 22, 2018: Markets opened higher again Tuesday but it’s been a bumpy day ever since, especially for the blue chips. Trading has been mixed all day with the energy sector the day’s biggest loser while financials and utilities have performed best. The FOMC releases the tea leaves, uh, minutes, of its latest meeting tomorrow. A slightly weakening dollar and still-high 10-year yields pretty much offset each other.
WTI crude oil for June delivery closed at $72.13 a barrel, down about 0.2% for the day. The July contract settled down about 0.2% at $72.20. June gold added about 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,292.00. Equities were headed for lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.69% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.26%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.12%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTM8) for June delivery traded at $8,195, down about 2.4% on the CBOE after opening at $8,420 this morning. The trading range today was $8,170 to $8,450.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Monday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded down 2.15% at $356.10 in a 52-week range of $182.86 to $371.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.2 million shares. The company had no specific news, but another vote by South Carolina employees on union representation is coming up later this month.
The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded down 1.56% at $186.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $144.25 to $207.61. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 5 million shares. The company had no specific news, but former exec Marvin Ellison is leaving J.C. Penney to become CEO at arch-rival Lowe’s.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.27% at $156.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.06 to $173.24. Volume was about half the daily average of around 5.4 million. The company had no specific news today.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded down 1.21% at $244.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $173.71 to $250.79. Volume was about half the daily average of 3.4 million. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 14 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 16 are set to close lower.