July 26, 2018: Markets opened mixed again Thursday as only the Dow blue chips could withstand the pounding suffered by Facebook after the social media giant reported quarterly results after the bell Wednesday. Now the question is how long until the stock recovers. The tech sector drooped the most, followed by consumer discretionary stocks. Telecom and utilities were the leading gainers.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $69.61 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day. August gold settled down 0.5% at $1,225.70. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.45% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 1.01%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $8,240, up about 1.5% on the CBOE after opening at $8,260 this morning. The trading range today was $8,120 to $8,320.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded up 2.52% at $129.46 in a 52-week range of $113.76 to $150.55. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 1.4 million shares.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 2.13% at $113.55. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $114.68. Volume was about a 15% below the daily average of around 8.7 million shares.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 1.90% at $208.27. The 52-range on the stock is $191.44 to $259.77. Volume of around 7.1 million was about 30% below the daily average. The company posted solid second-quarter results this morning.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.67% at $142.82. The stock’s 52-week range is $112.09 to $173.24. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 4.2 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 20 were set to close higher Thursday and 10 were on track to close lower.