November 8, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday and only the Dow was able to spend part of the day in the green. The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) did not move interest rates this month, but everyone expects a quarter-point hike next month. Today’s other bit of economic news showed that new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level since 1973. The energy sector was today’s big drag but no sector had posted a gain as markets wind down the last hour of trading.
WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $60.67 a barrel, down 1.6% for the day. Crude is now down 21% from its peak in early October, marking an official bear market for black gold. December gold dropped about 0.3% to settle at $1,225.10 for the day. Equities were heading for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.04% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.63%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTX8) for November delivery traded at $6,415, down 1.3% for the day on the Cboe after opening at $6,505 this morning. The trading range today was $6,360 to $6,520.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 2.98% at $131.08 in a 52-week range of $112.06 to $173.24. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 5.7 million shares.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.67% at $81.64. The 52-week range on the stock is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 11.9 million.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded down 1.17% at $115.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $97.68 to $119.69. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 6.9 million shares. Disney reports earnings after markets close Thursday.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.13% at $119.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $108.02 to $133.88. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 21 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 18 were set to close higher Thursday and 12 were on track to close lower.