Walmart, Cisco Prop Up the DJIA Tuesday

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February 13, 2018: Markets opened lower Tuesday and after bouncing around in the red for more than half the day, popped into the green and seem on course for a higher close. Wednesday’s report on the consumer price index could bring an end to the current round of volatility — or it could not.

WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $59.19 a barrel, down about 0.2% for the day. April gold added about 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,330.40. Equities were headed for a higher close close about 10 minutes before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.26% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.52%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTG8) for February delivery traded at $8,690, down about 1.6% on the CBOE after opening at $8,840 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,340 to $8,970.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded up 1.66% at $101.20. The stock’s 52-week range is $67.71 to $109.98. Volume was about half the daily average of around 9.7 million shares. The company said it will continue to trim store management jobs to keep expenses low.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 1.43% at $41.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.36 to $42.95. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 25 million. The company reports quarterly results after markets close Wednesday.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.06% at $153.91. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.34 to $173.24. Volume was around 5 million shares, about 10% below the daily average of about 5.1 million.  The company’s retail machine sales rose 34% in the last three months.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.10%% at $164.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $133.25 to $180.10. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 32.7 million shares. The company held its annual shareholders meeting today.

Of the Dow stocks, 17 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 13 are set to close lower.