Nike, General Electric Lead the Dow Higher Wednesday

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May 16, 2018: Markets opened higher Wednesday and traded in the green for most of the day. But the overall gain was modest and today’s session might even be put down as one of those when nothing much happened. The utilities and real estate sectors were trailing lower while basic materials and consumer cyclical goods traded up the most.

WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $71.49 a barrel, up nearly 0.3% for the day. June gold added less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,291.50. U.S. inventories dropped last week, but not enough to push prices up much. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.13% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.52%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $8,270, down about 2.9% on the CBOE after opening at $8,530 this morning. The trading range today was $8,115 to $8,530. Cryptocurrency firm Circle announced a venture funding round that garnered the firm $110 million.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) which traded up 2.50% at $71.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $71.50 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about slightly above the daily average of around 7.2 million shares. The company had no specific news.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 2.01% at $15.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $12.73 to $29.47. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 72.6 million. The company had no specific news.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.94% at $104.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $113.19. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 8 million shares. The company is considering allowing former Pixar exec John Lasseter return to the company.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 1.66% at $85.92 in a 52-week range of $73.13 to $109.98. Volume was less than 10% below the daily average of 12 million. The company reports earnings before the opening bell Thursday.

Of the Dow stocks, 18 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 12 are set to close lower.