Apple, Microsoft Pace the Dow Higher Tuesday

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September 11, 2018: Markets opened lower Monday but quickly turned north. The catalysts appear to have been a record high number of job openings and some solid buying of tech sector biggies that could survive lasting damage from more Trump tariffs. Only defensive stocks traded lower as we head for the closing bell while energy stocks are leading the charge higher.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $69.25 a barrel, up 2.5% on the day. December gold added about 0.2% to settle at $1,202.20. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.42% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.35%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.56%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,225, down about 0.3% on the Cboe after opening at $6,265 this morning. The trading range today was $6,130 to $6,385.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 2.37% at $223.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $149.16 to $229.67. Volume was about 20% higher than the daily average of around 25.8 million shares. The company is announcing new iPhones and other products on Wednesday.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.82% at $111.37. The 52-range on the stock is $72.92 to $112.78. Volume was about 20% lower than the daily average of around 25 million. The company said today that it will build new Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded up 1.67% at $214.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $157.16 to $214.66. The high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.2 million. The threat of massive storm damage from Hurricane Florence is probably pushing the stock higher

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 1.42% at $82.87 in a 52-week range of $72.16 to $89.30. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 10.4 million shares. The company is looking at upgrading a U.K. refinery at a cost of $650 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 18 were set to close higher Tuesday and 12 were on track to close lower.