April 12, 2018: Markets opened higher Thursday following another good report on new claims for unemployment benefits and an apparent softening of Trump’s promise of a military strike against Syria. With several big banks reporting first quarter earnings Friday, investors appear to be upbeat about the coming earnings season.
WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $67.07 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day. In related news, gasoline prices have reached a level last seen in July 2015. June gold dropped about 1.3% on the day to settle at $1,341.90. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.36% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.91%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.05%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTJ8) for April delivery traded at $7,710, up about 11.4% on the CBOE after opening at $6,920 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $6,675.60 to $8,080.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 3.40% at $52.84 in a 52-week range of $33.23 to $53.78. Volume of about 22 million shares was about 35% below the daily average. The had no specific news.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 3.19% at $337.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $175.47 to $371.60. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 6.4 million. The company announced its partners in a chase for a huge fighter jet contract for the government of India.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 3.04% at $113.98. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.64 to $119.33. Volume was about 25% lower than the daily average of around 16.3 million shares. The big bank reports first-quarter results Friday morning before the bell.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.86% at $66.58. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.29 to $77.08. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 9.3 million. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 26 are on track to close higher Thursday and 4 are set to close lower.