December 21, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday following the report that U.S. GDP growth in Q3 was 3.2%. Jobless claims were a little higher than expected. Tomorrow brings reports on personal income and spending, durable goods orders, and new home sales. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $58.36 a barrel, up 0.5% for the day. February gold added$1.00 on the day to settle at $1,270.60. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.33% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.33%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.17%.
Bitcoin futures for January traded at $15,500, down about 9%, on the CME after opening at $16,400 this morning. Only 838 contracts had been traded in the session and open interest is just 306.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded up 3.46% at $125.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $125.12 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 5.1 million shares. Analysts at Cowen & Co. raised their price target on the stock from $122 to $160 and reiterated their Outperform rating.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 2.36% at $261.20. The stock’s 52-week range is $209.62 to $262.09 and the high was set this morning. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 2.6 million. The investment bank had no specific news.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 1.90% at $64.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $65.19. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 10.6 million shares. The company reports earnings after markets close this afternoon.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.65% at $107.89. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.64 to $108.40. Volume was about a third below the daily average of around 12.7 million shares. Switzerland had some harsh words for the bank related to money-laundering regulations related to the bank’s dealings with Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. Not harsh enough to weigh on the stock down however.
Of the Dow stocks, 19 are on track to close higher Thursday and 11 are set to close lower.