Boeing, Microsoft Lift DJIA on Wednesday

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January 31, 2018: Markets opened higher Wednesday following a big earnings beat by Boeing which alone added 125 points to the DJIA’s early gains. Most of the gains evaporated during the day following a build in U.S. crude oil inventories and the FOMC meeting announcement that left interest rates alone but suggested more rate hikes are coming. Shares fought back in the last half-hour of the session, however, and look to close with a small gain.

WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $64.73 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day. February gold added about 0.3% on the day to settle at $1,339.00. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 46% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.27%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.30%.

Bitcoin futures for February delivery traded at $10,010, down about 1% on the CBOE after opening at $110,110 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $9,520 to $10,320.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 4.80% at $353.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $160.82 to $360.81 and the high was set this morning. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 3.9 million. The company posted solid earnings beats which raise the question of what Boeing is going to do with all its cash.

Microsoft Corp. (NYSE: MSFT) traded up 1.81% at $94.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $62.75 to $95.45. Volume was around 32 million shares, about 30% above the daily average of around 23.2 million shares. The company reports earnings after markets close Wednesday.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 1.56% at $68.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $68.83, a new high set this morning. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 8.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.08% at $137.98. The stock’s 52-week range is $106.85 to $139.24. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 15 are set to close lower.