June 15, 2018: Markets opened lower Friday as traders waited for the expected announcement of Trump’s tariffs on certain Chinese goods. The announcement was quickly followed by a Chinese statement that it would retaliate. The Dow index got hit the worst in the sell-off, but the trade war has been telegraphed for at least three months, so most traders were in position. The energy sector was the day’s worst performer, more than offsetting consumer staples, the day’s best performer.
WTI crude oil for July delivery settled at $65.06 a barrel, down about 2.7% for the day and a loss for the week of about 1%. The oil rig count rose by one this week, but the price drop is related to questions about the OPEC production cuts and when they might end. August gold dropped about 2.3% on the day to settle at $1,278.50, the yellow metal’s lowest settlement of the year to date. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.42% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.15%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.20%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,555, down about 1.2% on the CBOE after opening at $6,665 this morning. The trading range today was $6,470 to $6,675.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 2.18% at $149.79. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.30 to $173.24. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 4.8 million. The company had no specific news but a trade and tariff war hits industrial giants like Caterpillar especially hard.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 1.52% at $13.32. The stock’s 52-week range is $12.73 to $29.01. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 67.7 million shares. The company had no specific news today, but then traders don’t require news to sell GE shares.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.90% at $124.10 in a 52-week range of $102.55 to $133.88/. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 6.6 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded down 1.55% at $356.88. The stock’s 52-week range is $195.81 to $347.48. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 4.6 million. The company had no specific news.
Of the Dow stocks, 13 are on track to close higher Friday and 17 are set to close lower.