Microsoft, Walgreens Point the Dow Higher Friday

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July 6, 2018: Markets opened mixed Friday as the Dow blue chips staggered out of the gate following another mostly upbeat employment report. The slightly higher unemployment rate could signal that more U.S. workers are once again looking for jobs. All 10 equity sectors traded in the green late in the afternoon, led by healthcare, telecom, and tech stocks.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $73.80 a barrel, up about 1.2% on the day but down 0.5% for the week. August gold settled down 0.3% at $1,255.80 and a weekly gain of 0.1%. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.31% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.71%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.20%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,570, up 1.2% on the CBOE after opening at $6,482.20 this morning. The trading range today was $6,430 to $6,645.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) which traded up 1.75% at $63.47. 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.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 1.55% at $159.76. The stock’s 52-week range is $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.8 million. The company had no specific news.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.50% at $188.17. The stock’s 52-week range is $142.90 to $194.20. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 27.5 million shares. The company had no specific news, but there have been reports that Apple Music has surpassed rival streaming music company Spotify in numbers of U.S. subscribers.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.52% at $101.28 in a 52-week range of $68.70 to $102.69. Volume was about half the daily average of around 26.6 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 20 were set to close higher Friday and 10 were on track to close lower.