Chevron, Exxon Tank the Dow Friday

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May 25, 2018: Markets opened lower again Friday with the Dow and the S&P 500 trading in the red for the rest of the day. The Nasdaq broke into the green shortly after the bell but buying gave way to selling by late morning and the index now looks headed for no more than a basically flat close. The energy sector collapsed today, first on news of a possible increase in production from OPEC and its partners and then on a massive increase in the oil rig count.

WTI crude oil for July delivery closed at $67.88 a barrel, down about 4% for the day and down 4.9% for the week to its lowest level since May 1. June gold dropped less than 0.1%% on the day to settle at $1,303.70, but managed a gain of about 1% for the week. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.31% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.33%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.03%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTM8) for June delivery traded at $7,390, down about 2.2% on the CBOE after opening at $7,540 this morning. The trading range today was $7,325 to $7,670.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded down 3.75% at $121.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $133.88. Volume was equal to the daily average of around 6.7 million shares. The company had no specific news, but tumbling oil prices hit shares hard.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 2.16% at $78.54 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 14.7 million shares. The company had no specific news, but then, none was necessary.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.16% at $155.88. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.30 to $173.24. Volume was about 33% below the daily average of around 5.4 million. The company had no specific news Friday.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 1.03% at $100.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.98 to $103.24. Volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 3.6 million. The company had no news Friday.

Of the Dow stocks, 11 are on track to close higher Friday and 19 are set to close lower.