April 25, 2018: Markets opened slightly lower Wednesday and it did not appear that anything would turn that around. But turn they did in the early afternoon despite the 10-year Treasury yield topping 3% and stronger dollar. Maybe is was a couple of good earnings reports plus a few biggies after today’s close — like, Facebook and Ford, for example.
Equity indexes traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could show either a small gain or a small loss for any of the indexes.
WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $605 a barrel, up 0.5% for the day following a bearish report on inventories. June gold dropped about 0.8% on the day to settle at $1,322.80. Equities were headed for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded flat for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.19%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $9,000, down about 5% on the CBOE after opening at $9,490 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $8,780 to $9,790.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 4.35% at $343.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $175.47 to $371.60. Volume was nearly double the daily average of around 5.9 million shares. The company reported solid first-quarter results this morning.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.60% at $101.05 in a 52-week range of $96.20 to $116.10. Volume of about 6.2 million shares was about 15% below the daily average. The company had no specific news, but a rival bidder (Comcast) has offered to acquire Britain’s SkyTV which could have some impact on Disney’s planned merger with elements of Fox.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 1.30% at $79.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 16.3 million. The company raised its dividend by 6.5% (5 cents) this morning.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 0.65% at $87.09. The stock’s 52-week range is $73.13 to $109.98. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 12 million. The companyhad no specific news.
Of the Dow stocks, 13 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 17 are set to close lower.