April 5, 2018: Markets opened higher Thursday as traders began to see that only the first shots of a trade war have been fired and that no tariffs are likely to be imposed for as long as six months. The non-farm payroll report is out tomorrow morning and another solid gain is expected. That should get investors and traders focused in on quarterly earnings results that will begin hitting the tape next week.
WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $63.54 a barrel, up about 0.2% for the day. June gold dropped about 0.9% on the day to settle at $1,328.50 even though inflows to gold ETFs were up solidly in the first quarter. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.09% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.81%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.61%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTJ8) for April delivery traded at $6,780, down about 1.6% on the CBOE after opening at $6,830 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $6,560 to $6,920.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) which traded up 2.54% at $65.31 in a 52-week range of $59.29 to $77.08. Volume of about 7.6 million shares was about 15% below the daily average. The company had no specific news, but benefited from a burst of good trade war news after being battered with the other Dow industrial sector stocks.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 2.39% at $335.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $175.47 to $371.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 6.4 million. The company had no specific news.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 2.44% at $117.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $133.88. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 7.3 million. The company had no specific news.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.08% at $148.20. The stock’s 52-week range is $92.98 to $173.24. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 6.4 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Of the Dow stocks, 27 are on track to close higher Thursday and 3 are set to close lower.