Stocks range-bound as Walgreens drags, but airlines soar

U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday as Walgreens Boots Alliance shares fell on a disappointing quarterly earnings report and weakened outlook, but airline stocks posted gains.

The nation’s largest drugstore chain now expects full-year earnings for 2019 to be roughly flat -- compared to its previous guidance of 7 percent to 12 percent growth. Walgreens also said it plans to cut costs by more than $1.5 billion by 2022, instead of its originally anticipated $1 billion.

“The market challenges and macro trends we have been discussing for some time accelerated, resulting in the most difficult quarter we have had since the formation of Walgreens Boots Alliance,” Pessina said in a statement.

The decline in Walgreens shares dragged down the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WBA WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC. 53.31 +0.01 +0.02%

Airline stocks gave averages a modest lift, as shares of Delta, United Continental, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines rose.

Shares of new Dow Jones Industrial Average member Dow, which was spun off from parent DowDuPont, jumped in their debut.

Bitcoin shares jumped back to life on Tuesday, surging to its highest level in almost five months, following several months of low volatility.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 46.28 -0.41 -0.87%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS 55.66 -0.21 -0.38%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS 55.66 -0.21 -0.38%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 21.71 -0.32 -1.45%
DOW DOW, INC. 64.83 +0.09 +0.13%

The cryptocurrency rallied as high as 20 percent, crossing the $5,000 mark on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange early Tuesday, while ralling 15 percent to around $4,800, on the CoinDesk exchange. The rallies, however, are far below bitcoin’s late 2017 highs, which neared $20,000 during its peak.

Investors gauged an assortment of potential problems: The U.K. Parliament's apparent paralysis regarding how to leave the European Union; Europe’s slowing growth; and the ongoing U.S.-China trade conflict.

The price of the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose higher, with the yield off to 2.48 percent.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34082.35 -118.32 -0.35%
SP500 S&P 500 4178.66 -6.81 -0.16%
I:COMP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Crude oil prices rose to $62.50 per barrel.

Asian stocks rose. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed flat, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added fractionally and South Korea’s climbed 0.4 percent.

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European equities climbed as Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.96 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 0.62 percent and France’s CAC 40 increased 0.33 percent