United Technologies, McDonald’s Try to Prop Up DJIA Wednesday

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February 21, 2018: Markets opened higher Wednesday although sharp gains posted following release of the FOMC meeting minutes slipped away over the next hour. Among the sectors, financials and industrials stood out while energy and real estate lagged.

WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $61.68 a barrel, up 5 cents for the day. April gold added 90 cents on the day to settle at $1,332.10. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.05% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.20%.

Equity indexes were trending sharply downward just ahead of the closing bell. The closing tally could show either a small gain or a small loss for any of the indexes.

Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $10,230, down about 12.5% on the CBOE after opening at $17,710 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $10,210 to $11,770.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) which traded up 2.86% at $130.08. The stock’s 52-week range is $107.05 to $139.24. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The company’s Pratt & Whitney division said it has solved a recent problem with its geared turbofan engine for the Airbus A320neo.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 1.43% at $159.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $126.40 to $178.70. Volume was about 20% higher than the daily average of around 3.8 million. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.19% at $116.08. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.64 to $117.45, a new high posted this afternoon Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 15.5 million shares. The company is going to build a new headquarters building in Manhattan.

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 0.66% at $355.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $173.75 to $361.45. Volume was around 3.8 million shares, about 30% lower than the daily average of about 5 million. The company is reported to have won an order from Hawaiian Airlines.

Of the Dow stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 14 are set to close lower.