February 16, 2018: Markets opened mixed Friday but set a course for solid gains following the report the consumer sentiment had reached its second-highest level in 14 years. Consumers were not fazed by the equity sell-off earlier this month, but far more stoked by the tax cuts.
WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $61.68 a barrel, up 0.6% for the day and up 4.2% for the week. April gold added less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,356.30. Equities were headed for a mixed close close about 10 minutes before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.38% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.31%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.01%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTG8) for February delivery traded at $10,040, down about 0.5% on the CBOE after opening at $10,060 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $9,740 to $10,320.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) which traded up 1.90% at $36.39. The stock’s 52-week range is $31.67 to $39.43. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 20 million shares. The company had no specific news.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 1.83% at $230.15. The stock’s 52-week range is $156.49 to $250.79. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.5 million shares. The company had no specific news.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.64% at $106.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $116.10. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 9 million. The company’s Marvel Studios release of ‘Black Panther’ could pull in as much as $200 million in its opening weekend.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded up 1.57% at $133.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $118.05 to $148.32. Volume was around 6 million shares, about 15% lower than the daily average of about 7.4 million. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the Dow stocks, 21 are on track to close higher Friday and 9 are set to close lower.