Intel, UnitedHealth Sink the Dow Tuesday

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September 25, 2018: Markets mixed Tuesday and none of the indexes strayed far from the break-even oline until about noon. The FOMC is meeting today and will conclude its meeting tomorrow with an announcement that most observers expect to include a hike of 0.25% to the fed funds rate. The Fed will also publish a revised forecast after the meeting ends tomorrow. Energy stocks outperformed again today but couldn’t offset the big drop in defensive sectors like real estate and consumer staples.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $72.28 a barrel, up about 0.3% for the day. December gold added less than 0.1% to settle at $1,205.10. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.23% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.09%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.21%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,345, down about 4% on the Cboe after opening at $6,600 this morning. The trading range today was $6,310 to $6,600.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded down 1.82% at $46.06 in a 52-week range of $37.00 to $57.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 24 million shares. Intel figured in a filing by Qualcomm in its suit against Apple.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded down 1.46% at $263.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $186.00 to $271.161. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 2.4 million shares.

3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded down 1.45% at $210.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $190.57 to $259.77. Volume was about half the daily average of around 2.2 million.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded down 1.26% at $138.70. The 52-week range on the stock is $118.62 to $148.32. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around  6.2 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 11 were set to close higher Tuesday and 19 were on track to close lower.