August 16, 2018: Markets opened higher Thursday following solid earnings reports from two Dow stocks. Cisco beat estimates and Walmart did the same plus it boosted guidance. Reports that the United States and China are talking trade again also lifted investors’ spirits and did fewer worries about the Turkish economy. The telecom and consumer staples sectors posted the day’s most impressive gains as all 11 S&P sectors were on track to close in the green.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $65.46 a barrel, up 0.7% for the day. December gold dropped less than 0.1% to settle at $1,184.00, the lowest settlement price since January. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.50% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.70%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.32%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTQ8) for August delivery traded at $6,400, up about 0.4% on the CBOE after opening at $6,400 this morning. The trading range today was $6,185 to $6,475.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded up 9.59% at $98.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $77.50 to $109.98. Volume was about five times the daily average of around 7.7 million shares.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 4.41% at $346.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $234.29 to $374.48. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 3.4 million.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 3.24% at $45.29. The 52-range on the stock is $30.36 to $46.37. Volume was nearly double the daily average of 21.5 million.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 3.06% at $136.06 in a 52-week range of $112.69 to $173.24. Volume was about 5% above the daily average of around 4.3 million shares.
Of the Dow stocks, 27 were set to close higher Thursday and just 3 were on track to close lower.