August 3, 2018: Markets opened higher Friday but the Nasdaq Composite struggled all day to stay positive. It might just hold on by the closing bell. The report on non-farm payrolls came in weaker than expected but that may be okay. Trade issues continue to bedevil investors as corporate profits remain strong. Consumer staples is today’s strongest sector and energy the weakest.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $68.49 a barrel, down 0.7% for the day and down 0.3% for the week. December gold settled up about 0.2% at $1,223.20 but posted a loss of about 0.8% for the week. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.49% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.43%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.06%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $7,390, down about 2% on the CBOE after opening at $7,515 this morning. The trading range today was $7,270 to $7,565.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which traded up 3.13% at $147.44. The 52-range on the stock is $137.45 to $171.13. Volume of around 6 million was about 50% above the daily average.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 2.16% at $40.51 in a 52-week range of $32.32 to $40.66. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 20.3 million shares.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 1.18% at $89.81. The stock’s 52-week range is $77.50 to $109.98. Volume was about half the daily average of around 8.6 million shares.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded up 1.16% at $46.72. The stock’s 52-week range is $41.45 to $48.62. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 11.2 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 26 were set to close higher Friday and 4 were on track to close lower.