August 15, 2018: Markets opened slightly lower Wednesday but the situation deteriorated quickly. By the time the report on oil inventories was released, the major indexes had already drawn a bead on their intraday lows. That report torpedoed energy stocks which traded down about 3.5% while defensive sectors showed some small gains. The Turkish currency problem still captures some attention although many economists don’t think the country’s ills are contagious.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $65.01 a barrel, down 3% for the day. December gold dropped 1.3% to settle at $1,185.00, the lowest settlement price since January. Equities were heading for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.45% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.65%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 1.13%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $6,520, up about 7.4% on the CBOE after opening at $6,000 this morning. The trading range today was $6,000 to $6,615.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded down 3.59% at $118.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $105.30 to $133.88. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 5.7 million shares.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded down 2.15% at $331.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $234.29 to $374.48. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.3 million.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 2.17% at $131.99 in a 52-week range of $112.69 to $173.24. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 4.3 million shares.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.59% at $77.07. The 52-range on the stock is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume of around 12.7 million was about 15% above the daily average.
Of the Dow stocks, 14 were set to close higher Wednesday and 16 were on track to close lower.