Intel, MIcrosoft Lift the Dow Thursday

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July 12, 2018: Markets opened higher Thursday following the release of the consumer price index data and the data on job turnover. There was also a drop in concern over rising tensions between China and the United States. Tech stocks posted the day’s biggest gains with defensive sectors like consumer staples and utilities edging down.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $70.37 a barrel, down a penny on the day. August gold settled up 0.2% at $1,246.60. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.85% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.79%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.29%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $6,145, down about 3.2% on the CBOE after opening at $6,355 this morning. The trading range today was $6,120 to $6,365.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) which traded up 2.37% at $43.58. The 52-range on the stock is $42.75 to $43.62. Volume of around 11.6 million was about half the daily average.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 2.19% at $52.32. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $57.60. Volume was also about half the daily average of around 28 million shares.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 2.10% at $104.12. The stock’s 52-week range is $71.28 to $104.41, a new all-time high posted today. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 25.9 million. The company’s market cap has now reached more than $800 billion–and here’s one big reason why.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.92% at $127.28 in a 52-week range of $109.10 to $139.24. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.9 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 24 were set to close higher Thursday and 6 were on track to close lower.