Caterpillar, Exxon Sink the Dow Thursday

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August 23, 2018: Markets opened mixed again Thursday and once again equities stayed within easy reach of the break-even line. A typical summer-doldrums kind of day with low volume and no big news. The tech sector is the only one to have posted a gain of any size and the big losers were basic materials and energy.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $67.83 a barrel, down 3 cents on the day. December gold dropped 0.8% to settle at $1,194.00. Equities were heading for a lower about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.35% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.11%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,415, up about 2% on the Cboe after opening at $6,350 this morning. The trading range today was $6,220 to $6,470.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 1.98% at $136.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $114.30 to $173.24. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 4.3 million shares.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.28% at $78.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 11.1 million.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded down 0.93% at $237.12. The 52-range on the stock is $214.64 to $275.31. Volume was about half the daily average of 2.9 million.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 0.87% at $159.14 in a 52-week range of $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of around 3.6 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 10 were set to close higher Thursday and 20 were on track to close lower.