June 22, 2018: Markets opened higher Friday and the Dow appears on track to end an eight-day streak of closing in the red. The Nasdaq Composite has pulled back from an all-time high set earlier this week and is close to the break-even line. The energy sector jumped on news that OPEC is lifting production by less than expected has added some certainty for traders and investors. The tech sector was the day’s poorest performer.
WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $68.58 a barrel, up about 4.6% on the day and up 5% for the week. August gold added 20 cents to settle at $1,270.70 and closed the week down about 0.6%. Equities were headed for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.73% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.17%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,215, down about 7.6% on the CBOE after opening at $6,715 this morning. The trading range today was $6,055 to $6,755.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 2.82% at $165.06. The stock’s 52-week range is $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 3.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.58% at $66.97. The 52-range on the stock is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume of around 4.2 million was about half the daily average. The company had no specific news.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded up 2.50% at $49.85 in a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.77. Volume was about slightly above the daily average of around 15.5 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 2.08% at $81.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 13.5 million. The company had no specific news but rising crude oil prices never hurt an oil company’s stock.
Of the Dow stocks, 26 are on track to close higher Friday and 4 are set to close lower.
A reminder: General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is getting booted from the Dow and will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ: WBA) before trading begins on Tuesday, June 26.