August 8, 2018: Markets opened narrowly mixed Wednesday and looks set to end the regular trading session the same way. The blue-chip Dow index traded lower all day while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are holding onto slim gains. The Trump trade war with China experienced another skirmish yesterday, but corporate earnings reports continue to offset investors’ fears. The energy sector lagged today while the tech and financial services sectors posted the best gains.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $66.94 a barrel, down 3.2% for the day following a bearish report on U.S. inventories. December gold added 0.2% to settle at $1,221.00. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.09% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.07%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.16%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $6,315, down about 7.8% on the CBOE after opening at $6,765 this morning. The trading range today was $6,110 to $6,785.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) which traded down 1.96% at $114.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $117.90. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 10 million shares. Earnings were not exciting and all the talk about streaming may be too late.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.63% at $140.06. The 52-range on the stock is $112.69 to $173.24. Volume of around 2.8 million was about 35% below the daily average.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 1.67% at $158.64. The stock’s 52-week range is $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 3.6 million.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 1.63% at $41.51 in a 52-week range of $32.32 to $41.64, a new high set today. Volume was about 5% below the daily average of around 20.4 million shares.
Of the Dow stocks, 16 were set to close higher Wednesday and 14 were on track to close lower.