February 26, 2018: Markets opened higher again Monday and following a mid-morning dip pushed higher for most of the rest of the day. Fed chairman Jerome Powell will make some comments to Congress later this week, but he is not expected to change expectations for the go-slow approach to raising rates. That’s good for equities investors and so is the cut to corporate tax rates now that most companies that had to take the medicine have done so.
WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $63.91 a barrel, up 0.6% for the day, but pump prices for gasoline dipped for the third consecutive week. April gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,332.80. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.48% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.01%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTH8) for March delivery traded at $10,200, up about 2.8% on the CBOE after opening at $9,350 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $9,350 to $10,350.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) which traded up 3.23% at $244.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $86.31 to $259.77. Volume was about 25% lower than the daily average of around 2.4 million. The company had no specific news Monday.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 3.18% at $45.40. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.36 to $45.45, a new high set this afternoon. Volume was around 26.5 million shares, about a third higher than the daily average of about 13.3 million. The company had no specific news.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 2.81% at $49.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $50.85. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 34 million shares. The company had no specific news.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded up 2.59% at $101.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.51 to $102.39. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. A case involving the company’s rules for merchants was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court today.
Of the Dow stocks, 28 are on track to close higher Monday and just 2 are set to close lower.