August 17, 2018: Markets opened mixed Friday but all three major indexes are pointed at a positive close for the day. Sanctions on Iran are said to include penalties as well for countries currently buying oil from the Islamic Republic. That would include China with which the United States is scheduled to begin trade talks next week. All 11 S&P sectors are trading in the green ahead of the close with industrials and consumer staples performing best.
WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $65.91 a barrel, up 0.7% for the day but down about 2.5% for the week. December gold added 20 cents to settle at $1,184.20, down nearly 2.9% for the week. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.51% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.40%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.22%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,480 up about 1.5% on the CBOE after opening at $6,260 this morning. The trading range today was $6,235 to $6,5455.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 2.47% at $139.63 in a 52-week range of $112.69 to $173.24. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 4.4 million shares.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.89% at $217.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $149.16 to $217.68, and the high was posted today. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 23.5 million shares.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 1.74% at $45.95. The 52-range on the stock is $30.36 to $46.37. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of 21.8 million.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 1.59% at $42.08. The stock’s 52-week range is $37.32 to $42.19, and the high was posted today. Volume was about 5% below the daily average of around 20 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 24 were set to close higher Friday and 6 were on track to close lower.