June 21, 2018: Markets opened mixed Thursday but it didn’t take long for equities to turn south and spend the rest of the day in the red. Those nasty trade war blues won’t go away, especially the chorus part about the effect on the global economy, and traders are worried that the whole trade war thing is getting too close for comfort. The energy sector is taking the biggest hit Thursday ahead of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting in Vienna.
WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $65.54 a barrel, down about 0.3% on the day. August gold dropped about 0.3% on the day to settle at $1,270.50. Equities were headed for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.85% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.68%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.9%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,710, down about 0.7% on the CBOE after opening at $6,750 this morning. The trading range today was $6,685 to $6,795.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 2.49% at $139.57. The 52-range on the stock is $102.30 to $173.24. Volume of around 4.4 million was roughly equal to the daily average. The company had no specific news, but trade-war jitters always hit the industrial stocks.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 2.45% at $122.22. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $133.88. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.7 million shares. The company had no specific news, but the outcome of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting is expected to be bearish for energy stocks.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded down 2.09% at $52.35 in a 52-week range of $33.23 to $57.60. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 28 million shares. The company’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, resigned following an internal investigation that he violated the company’s non-fraternization policy.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded down 1.67% at $336.98. The stock’s 52-week range is $196.45 to $374.48. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 4.5 million. The company has agreed with the U.S. Air Force on a schedule for the first delivery of the KC-46A tanker. But tariffs and trade were more important to investors today.
Of the Dow stocks, just 5 are on track to close higher Thursday and 25 are set to close lower.
A reminder: General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is getting booted from the Dow and will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) before trading begins on Tuesday, June 26.