June 5, 2018: Markets opened barely higher Tuesday after two days of solid gains. The Dow is holding onto a particularly narrow gain with about half an hour to go before the closing bell. There was little in the way of economic data today, so investors and traders spent the day looking for an edge. Basic materials, consumer discretionary, and tech sectors were the day’s leading gainers.
WTI crude oil for July delivery closed at $65.52 a barrel, up about 1.2% for the day. August gold added about 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,302.20. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.08%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.36%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTM8) for June delivery traded at $7,630, up about 1.6% on the CBOE after opening at $7,560. this morning. The trading range today was $7,355 to $7,670.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) which traded up 1.50% at $68.14 in a 52-week range of $61.27 to $77.08. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 8.9 million shares. The company said this morning that it plans to invest $400 million to expand production of its Tyvek plant in Luxembourg.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 0.58% at $13.79 The stock’s 52-week range is $12.73 to $29.47. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 70 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) which traded down 0.98% at $61.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.83 to $66.41. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 11.4 million. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded down 0.91% at $84.65. The stock’s 52-week range is $73.13 to $109.98. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 10 million. The company had no specific news, but Amazon is reportedly boosting its investment in India by $2 billion. Walmart just bought a controlling stake in India’s Flipkart e-commerce leader for $16 billion.
Of the Dow stocks, 14 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 16 are set to close lower.