January 23, 2018: Markets opened mixed again Tuesday but all three major indexes posted record intra-day highs in the morning. The end of the short-lived government shutdown eliminates a bit of political uncertainty from the markets, but the focus so far this week has been on earnings. Real estate and utilities were the day’s best performing sectors while telecom and healthcare lagged.
WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $64.47 a barrel, up 1.4% for the day, crude’s highest level in more than 3 years. February gold added about 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,336.70. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded essentially flat for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.24%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.71%.
Bitcoin futures for January delivery traded at $11,075, up about 7% on the CME after opening at $10,625 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $9,865 to $11,350.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded up 4.63% at $145.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $113.76 to $146.96, a new 52-week high set this afternoon. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 1.5 million shares. The company reported better-than-expected results this morning..
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 4.27% at $16.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $15.80 to $30.59. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 33 million. The company reports earnings Thursday.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded down 4.33% at $141.70. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.76 to $148.32. Volume was more double the daily average of around 5.5 million shares. The company took a tax-related charge of $13.6 billion in the fourth quarter and lost a patent ruling on top of it..
The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded down 3.50% at $88.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $85.42 to $94.67. Volume was nearly double the daily average of around 6.7 million shares. The company reported earnings this morning that were widely viewed as ho-hummers.
Of the Dow stocks, 19 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 11 are set to close lower.