Visa, Microsoft Hold Back the Dow Wednesday

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September 5, 2018: Markets opened lower again Wednesday with the Nasdaq Composite plunging even lower, likely as a response to the Senate committee hearings with Twitter’s CEO and Facebook’s COO. The blue chippers made a tentative move out of the red, but look to do no better at the end of the day than trade flat. Trade issues between the United States and Canada added to today’s worries as did the further weakness in some emerging market currencies.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $68.72 a barrel, down 1.7% on the day. December gold added 0.2% to settle at $1,201.30. Equities were heading for a narrowly lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded almost flat, up 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.31%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 1.13%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,905, down about 6% on the Cboe after opening at $7,355 this morning. The trading range today was $6,830 to $7,395.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) which traded down 3.32% at $142.90. The 52-range on the stock is $102.75 to $147.86. Volume was about 30% higher than the daily average of around 7 million.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded down 2.95% at $108.42 The stock’s 52-week range is $72.92 to $112.78. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 24.9 million.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.53% at $140.35 in a 52-week range of $116.50 to $173.24. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 4.4 million shares.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded up 1.42% at $135.62. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $117.90. Volume was about half the daily average of around 6.3 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 17 were set to close higher Wednesday and 13 were on track to close lower.