December 18, 2017: Markets opened higher again Monday now that passage of the corporate- and investor-friendly Republican tax bill appears headed for passage. A few merger/acquisitions were announced this morning with Campbell Soup’s deal for Snyder’s-Lance the biggest. Materials and telecom stocks were the sector leaders today, with utilities posting the only loss. WTI crude oil for January delivery settled at $57.16 a barrel, down 0.2% for the day. February gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,265.50. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.59% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.57%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.85%.
Bitcoin futures for January traded at $18,985, down 2.6%, on the CME about an hour before settlement after opening at $20,650 this morning. More than 18,000 contracts had been traded.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 3.41% at $46.08. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $47.30. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 27 million shares. The company introduced a new chip this morning that speeds up high-performance computing tasks.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.21% at $71.54. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.52 to $73.85. Volume was about a 35% below the daily average of around 7.1 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.02% at $149.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.34 to $149.74 and the high was set this afternoon. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 3.5 million shares. The company had no specific news Monday.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.74% at $177.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $114.76 to $177.17 and the high was posted today. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 27.3 million. The company’s AirPods are reportedly sold out until next month.
Of the Dow stocks, 24 are on track to close higher Monday and 6 are set to close lower.