Apple, Microsoft Drive the Dow Higher Wednesday

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August 29, 2018: Markets opened higher again Wednesday, but stocks didn’t take off until mid-morning. U.S. second-quarter GDP was revised up before markets opened, but the big mover appears to have been further easing of trade tensions between the United States and seemingly everyone else. All 11 S&P sectors were trading in the green with less than an hour to go before the bell. Energy and consumer discretionary stocks led the charge.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $69.51 a barrel, up 1.4% on the day following a bullish report on U.S. inventories. December gold dropped 0.2% to settle at $1,211.50. Equities were heading for a higher about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.30% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.65%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.03%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $7,010, down about 1.5% on the Cboe after opening at $7,085 this morning. The trading range today was $6,900 to $7,120.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 1.53% at $223.07. The 52-range on the stock is $149.16 to $223.12. The high was posted today. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 24.2 million.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.33% at $111.73. The stock’s 52-week range is $72.83 to $111.95. The high was also posted today. Volume was about 40% lower than the daily average of around $25.3 million.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) traded up 1.32% at $147.12 in a 52-week range of $102.26 to $147.30. Another new high posted today.  Volume was just over half the daily average of around 7.3 million shares.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 1.17% at $47.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $31.42 to $47.62, and the high was posted today. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 21.1 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 20 were set to close higher Wednesday, and 10 were on track to close lower.