January 3, 2018: Markets opened higher again Wednesday and have improved on the opening gains throughout the day. Both the S&P 500 and the DJIA posted new intra-day highs. The day’s sector leaders were Energy and technology while telecom and utilities lagged. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $61.63 a barrel, up 2.1% for the day and the highest close in three years. February gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,318.50 for a ninth 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 0.44% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.66%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.84%.
Bitcoin futures for January delivery traded at $14,880, essentially flat, on the CME after opening at $14.900 this morning. Only 685 contracts had been traded in the session and open interest is just 596.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which traded up 2.85% at $158.65. The stock’s 52-week range is $139.13 to $182.79. Volume was about 35% above the daily average of around 4.8 million shares. The company’s stock was raised to Outperform at RBC Capital Markets this morning.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 2.23% at $86.93. The stock’s 52-week range is $76.05 to $91.15. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 9.3 million shares. The company had no specific news.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 1.59% at $73.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.76 to $73.85. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 7.2 million. The company had no news.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.44% at $130.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $106.85 to $130.20 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 2.8 million shares. The company had no news.
Of the Dow stocks, 18 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 12 are set to close lower.