Apple Props Up the Dow Thursday

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August 2, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday and the blue chips never really shook off the slow start. Apple lifted the markets almost single-handedly today, becoming the first U.S. publicly traded company to hit $1 trillion in market cap. Let’s just hope it doesn’t share the same fate as the first company to reach that milestone. The tech and consumer staples stocks were the day’s leading gainers while materials lagged.

WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $68.96 a barrel, up 1.9% for the day. U.S. inventories surprisingly rose according to the EIA and that made an already lower price dip further. December gold settled down 0.6% at $1,220.10, the yellow metal’s lowest close in more than a year. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded essentially flat for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.54%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.29%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $7,540, up about 0.1% on the CBOE after opening at $7,470 this morning. The trading range today was $7,445 to $7,705.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) which traded down 2.28% at $66.41. The 52-range on the stock is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume of around 9 million was about 20% above the daily average. The company reported good earnings this morning but put some scary words in the outlook.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.15% at $123.95 in a 52-week range of $105.30 to $133.88. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 6 million shares.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 3.08% at $207.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $149.16 to $208.38, a new high posted today. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 24.3 million shares.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 1.72% at $78.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $81.00. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 6.4 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 13 were set to close higher Thursday and 17 were on track to close lower.