Chevron, Exxon Hammer the Dow Thursday

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October 11, 2018: Markets opened lower again Thursday and the three major indexes bounced around the break-even line for most of the day before turning solidly lower. Every sector traded lower on the day with energy and financial services posting the biggest dips. About the only good news is that equities may close the day above their intraday lows.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $70.97 a barrel, down 3% for the day after the U.S. inventory report showed a gain of 6 million barrels of crude last week.  December gold added about 2.9% to settle at $1,227.60. Equities were heading for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 1.83% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 1.76%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.98%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,180, down about 5.5% on the Cboe after opening at $6,510 this morning. The trading range today was $6,025 to $6,535.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded down 2.88% at $119.07 in a 52-week range of $108.02 to $133.88. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The company said it is restarting two platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that were shut in ahead of Hurricane Michael.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 2.84% at $82.12. The stock’s 52-week range is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 10.5 million.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded down 2.75% at $43.28. The 52-week range on the stock is $33.20 to $45.81. Volume was nearly 60% higher than the daily average of around 19.8 million. The drugmaker announced this morning that it has settled a deceptive advertising claim for $700,000.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 2.61% at $163.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 25% higher than the daily average of around 3.4 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, none was set to close higher Thursday and all 30 were on track to close lower.