August 24, 2018: Markets opened higher Friday and got a mid-morning boost from comments by Fed chair Jerome Powell that the U.S. economy is not overheated and that the pace of rate hikes won’t increase–for now. Powell also said that he was prepared to “do whatever it takes” to dodge another financial meltdown. Only the consumer staples sector is on track for a daily loss while basic materials and energy are the leading gainers.
WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $68.72 a barrel, up 1.3% on the day and up 5.4% for the week. December gold added 1.6% to settle at $1,213.30, up 2.5% for the week and the first weekly gain in 7 weeks. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.54% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.65%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.90%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,615, up about 3.2% on the Cboe after opening at $6,475 this morning. The trading range today was $6,450 to $6,635.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) which traded up 1.79% at $69.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 7.5 million shares.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 1.43% at $47.65. The stock’s 52-week range is $34.46 to $57.60. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 26 million.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) traded up 1.46% at $144.18. The 52-range on the stock is $102.26 to $144.37, and the high was posted today. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of 7.3 million.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 1.29% at $205.37 in a 52-week range of $190.57 to $259.77. Volume was about half the daily average of around 2.3 million shares.
Of the Dow stocks, 24 were set to close higher Friday and 6 were on track to close lower.