July 23, 2018: Markets opened lower Monday and try as they might, the blue chips could never really get a bid. The President’s saber-rattling tweet this morning got markets off to poor start, but earnings reports may have helped pull the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 out of the doldrums. The day’s best performing sector has been financial services while defensive stocks have lagged.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $67.89 a barrel, down 0.5% for the day. August gold settled down 0.5% at $1,225.60. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded essentially flat for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.21%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.29%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $7,760, up about 5.7% on the CBOE after opening at $7,380 this morning. The trading range today was $7,360 to $7,840.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Monday was 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) which traded down 1.51% at $198.90 in a 52-week range of $191.44 to $259.77. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 2.9 million shares. The company reports second-quarter results before markets open Tuesday.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) traded down 0.71% at $139.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $98.51 to $141.47. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 7.2 million shares.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) which traded up 2.12% at $113.64. The stock’s 52-week range is $88.08 to $119.33. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 14.4 million.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.61% at $107.98. The 52-range on the stock is $71.28 to $108.20. Volume of around 23 million was about 15% below the daily average.
Of the Dow stocks, 12 were set to close higher Monday and 18 were on track to close lower.