August 1, 2018: Markets opened narrowly higher Wednesday but neither the Dow nor the S&P 500 could hold onto the gains. The Nasdaq Composite was likely propped up by Apple which reported better-than-expected quarterly results and posted a new 52-week high above $200, solidly on its way to that $1 trillion valuation. In other news, the Fed’s open market committee held the line on interest rates, as expected. The tech sector was the day’s best performer (thanks, again, Apple) while utilities and energy lagged.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $67.66 a barrel, down 1.% for the day. U.S. crude oil inventories surprisingly rose according to the EIA and that made an already lower price dip further. December gold settled down 0.5% at $1,227.60. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.19% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.01%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.52%. Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $7,550, down about 2.1% on the CBOE after opening at $7,795 this morning. The trading range today was $7,435 to $7,795.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 3.42% at $138.88. The 52-range on the stock is $112.09 to $173.24. Volume of around 5.1 million was about 20% above the daily average.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded down 2.33% at $207.37 in a 52-week range of $190.57 to $259.77. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 2.6 million shares.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded down 1.75% at $66.44. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.07 to $83.89. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 7.4 million shares.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded down 1.12% at $41.81. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.36 to $46.37. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 22.1 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 11 were set to close higher Wednesday and 19 were on track to close lower.