January 11, 2018: Markets opened higher Thursday and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite posted all-time intra-day highs just one day after their first losing session of 2018. China denied a report that it planned to slow its purchases of U.S. debt and that greased the market’s wheels again. Energy stocks rose more than 2% after Brent crude sneaked over $70 a barrel for the first time in three years. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $63.80 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day. February gold added about 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,322.50. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.60% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.55%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.68%.
Bitcoin futures for January delivery traded at $13,330, down about 7.8% on the CME after opening at $14,500 this morning. The number of contracts traded topped 1,000 for the first time and open interest is 690.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded up 2.76% at $132.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $133.32 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 60% above the daily average of around 5.2 million shares. Higher crude oil prices along with an outlook for more gains ahead always have a salutary effect on oil producers.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 1.95% at $43.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $47.64. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 31 million. The company received some good news from Google engineers who said they are seeing no slowdown in patched systems affected by the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.95% at $326.51. The stock’s 52-week range is $156.67 to $327.15, and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was nearly 15% above the daily average of around 3.2 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday, but the impact, if any, of Canada’s trade case against the United States is likely to be years in coming and not material.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.72% at $168.73. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.34 to $169.53, another new 52-week high. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The company had no specific news today.
Of the Dow stocks, 25 are on track to close higher Thursday and 5 are set to close lower.