Stocks took a breather as the Dow fell 112 points on lighter trading volume to close at 21,002. A big contributor to the selloff was Cat which sold off after an IRS raid of its offices in Peoria. The IRS is apparently looking at how Cat transferred cash between its domestic and international divisions and the company could face fines and penalties.
The Snapchat IPO priced at $17 per share raising about $24 billion in the second biggest tech IPO since Alibaba came public in 2014. Shares of SNAP were hot and traded up to $26 before closing at about $24.50. The company is pricy at this level compared to Facebook which has more lines of business and competes well against Snapchat with Instagram.
Gold fell today on rising prospects for a US interest rate hike and a strong US dollar. Gold fell $14.80 an ounce to $1,235. Another factor which might be affecting gold this year is Venezuela. While mired in an economic swamp, Venezuela has spent most of its foreign reserves on debt interest payments. Reserves are down from $30 billion to $10 billion and there is speculation the well could run dry this year leading to a default. Sources say that gold bullion comprises roughly 70% of the remaining $10 billion meaning that Venezuela might have to dump its gold in order to pay its debts. Now that’s a golden pickle.