General Electric, DowDuPont Lead DJIA Higher Thursday

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January 4, 2018: Markets opened higher again Thursday and the DJIA posted its first-ever reading above 25,000. About the only surprising thing was soon the Dow hit that level after reaching the 24,000 level. Energy was the day’s sector leader again while real estate and utilities lagged. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $62.01 a barrel, up 0.6% for the day and the highest close in three years after the EIA petroleum inventory report. February gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,321.60 for a tenth consecutive winning session and the highest close in more than three months. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.64% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.46%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.25%.

Bitcoin futures for January delivery traded at $15,120, up about 1% on the CME after opening at $14.925 this morning. Only 715 contracts had been traded in the session and open interest is just 611.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded up 2.31% at $18.57. The stock’s 52-week range is $17.25 to $31.77. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 80 million shares. The company had no specific news.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) traded up 2.20% at $161.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $139.13 to $182.79. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 5 million shares. The company had no specific news.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.05% at $74.55. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.76 to $74.74 and the high was posted today. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 7.2 million. The company had no news.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 1.90% at $57.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $53.63 to $66.80. Volume was about 5% below the daily average of around 11.8 million shares. The company had no news.

Of the Dow stocks, 22 are on track to close higher Thursday and 8 are set to close lower.