Intel, Walgreens Pace the Dow Thursday

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July 5, 2018: Markets opened higher again Thursday following an offer from the United States to withhold imposing a duty on car imports from the European Union if the EU eliminates its duties. The devil will be in the details. The Fed released the minutes from the last FOMC meeting signaling an end to monetary stimulation but worrying at the same time about the impact of tariffs on business investment and economic growth, both of which the Fed had been sanguine about.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $72.94 a barrel, down about 1.6% on the day following a surprise increase in U.S. inventories. August gold settled up 0.4% at $1,258.80. Equities were heading for a higher close with about 10 minutes to go before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.70% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.82%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.06%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,475, down 1.4% on the CBOE after opening at $6,630 this morning. The trading range today was $6,405 to $6,800.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 2.63% at $50.77 in a 52-week range of $33.23 to $57.60. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 28 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 2.60% at $62.34. The 52-range on the stock is $59.07 to $83.89. Volume of around 7.7 million was about 20% above the daily average of 6.4 million. The company had no specific news.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded up 1.78% at $124.89. The stock’s 52-week range is $118.62 to $148.32. Volume was about less than 10% below the daily average of around 6.5 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 1.47% at $61.60. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.83 to $66.41. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 11.1 million. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 25 are closed higher Thursday and 5 closed lower.