Boeing, Caterpillar Prop Up the Dow Wednesday

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September 12, 2018: Markets opened mixed Wednesday and none of the major indexes strayed to far from the break-even line. Today brought the introduction of new hardware from Apple, an event about which more pixels are burned than perhaps any other. The Fed Beige Book also rolled out today with a lot of attention paid to energy. Consumer staples and energy are the day’s best performing staples while financial services and tech stocks lagged.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $70.37 a barrel, up about 1.6% on the day following the EIA report on a larger than expected drawdown in crude inventories. December gold added about 0.7% to settle at $1,210.90. Equities were heading for a narrowly mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.21% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.07%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.23%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,290, up about 1% on the Cboe after opening at $6,270 this morning. The trading range today was $6,175 to $6,335.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 2.58%% at $354.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $237.09 to $374.48. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 3.2 million shares. The company’s CEO said that deliveries are catching up, but a new lawsuit may be a problem for the company.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 2.50% at $70.46. The 52-range on the stock is $59.07 to $83.74. Volume was about 40% lower than the daily average of around 7.7 million.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.77% at $144.54. The stock’s 52-week range is $119.21 to $173.24. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 4.5 million.

The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded up 1.37% at $83.13 in a 52-week range of $70.73 to $94.67. Volume was about half the daily average of around 7.6 million shares.

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