Boeing, Caterpillar Prop Up the Dow Thursday

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May 18, 2018: Markets opened lower again Friday and while the Dow hugged the break-even line all day, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite remained in the red for the entire trading session. U.S. trade talks with China have hit a bump in the road and negotiations with Mexico and Canada on revisions to NAFTA missed a deadline of sorts Thursday. Friday’s best performing sector was industrials, probably thanks to Deere & Co. earnings, while the energy performed the most poorly.

WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $71.28 a barrel, down about 0.3% for the day but up about 0.8% for the week. June gold added nearly 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,291.30 but closed the week down 2.2%. Equities were headed for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.06% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.26%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTM8) for June delivery traded at $8,250, up about 0.3% on the CBOE after opening at $8,150 this morning. The trading range today was $7,940 to $8,295.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 2.00% at $351.04 in a 52-week range of $176.77 to $371.60. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 5.1 million shares. The company had no specific news, but Reuters is reporting that arch-rival Airbus is about to lose a large order to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.35% at $155.76. The stock’s 52-week range is $101.27 to $173.24. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 5.4 million. The company had no specific news today, but like Boeing is likely getting a bump from Deere’s earnings.

The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded up 1.13% at $187.43. The stock’s 52-week range is $144.25 to $207.61. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of 5 million. The company had no specific news.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 0.55% at $71.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $71.60. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 7.2 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 9 are on track to close higher Friday and 21 are set to close lower.