August 31, 2018: Markets opened mixed Friday on the last trading day of the month and the kickoff to the Labor Day holiday weekend. Trading was mostly subdued with no major index straying far from the break-even line. The energy sector is having the worst day as we approach the closing bell while consumer discretionary sector is up the most, a gargantuan 0.2%.
WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $69.80 a barrel, down 0.6% on the day, but up 1.6% for the week. December gold added less than 0.1% to settle at $1,206.00. Equities were heading for a mixed about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.13% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.26%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $7,045, up about 3% on the Cboe after opening at $6,930.55 this morning. The trading range today was $6,875 to $7,090.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded down 1.34% at $342.25. The 52-range on the stock is $234.29 to $374.48. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 3.2 million. Even a potentially massive contract with the U.S. Navy can’t overcome tariff worries and many airplanes rolling off the assembly line and being parked on the tarmac awaiting engines.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 1.14% at $54.12. The stock’s 52-week range is $43.97 to $56.21. Volume was about 40% lower than the daily average of around 14 million.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.05% at $118.56 in a 52-week range of $107.51 to $133.88. Volume was about half the daily average of around 5.5 million shares.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded down 1.01% at $11.49. The stock’s 52-week range is $41.45 to $48.62. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 10.7 million shares. The company announced this morning that it is paying $5.1 billion to acquire a coffee shop chain based in the U.K.
Of the Dow stocks, 10 were set to close higher Friday and 20 were on track to close lower.