American Express, Travelers Sink the Dow Thursday

July 19, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday even though weekly jobless claims hit a 49-year low. Corporate earnings reports have helped push the Dow higher for several days, but it could be that it’s time for a breather. GE, no longer among the Dow 30 reports tomorrow morningm, and Microsoft announces results after markets close today. Financials and materials led today’s dip while real estate and utilities posted the best gains.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $69.46 a barrel, up 0.1% for the day. August gold settled down 0.3% at $1,224.00. Equities were heading for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.47% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.34%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.31%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $7,490, up nearly 3% on the CBOE after opening at $7,350 this morning. The trading range today was $7,290 to $7,530.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded down 3.26% at $125.76 in a 52-week range of $113.76 to $150.55. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 1.4 million shares. The company’s earnings report did not pass muster.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 2.69% at $100.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.33 to $103.24. Volume was about 60% above the daily average of around 3.8 million shares. Revenue for the second quarter was a little light and guidance for the full year was not encouraging.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded down 1.77% at $65.00. The 52-range on the stock is $59.07 to $83.89. Volume of around 7.7 million was about 25% above the daily average.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded down 1.41% at $125.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $118.62 to $148.32. Volume was about half the daily average of around 6.6 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 9 were set to close higher Thursday and 21 were on track to close lower.

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