September 19, 2018: Markets opened higher again Wednesday but the tech sector dragged the Nasdaq Composite loser early in the day and the tech-heavy index never recovered. News was scarce with a disappointing report on housing starts offset by a decline in the U.S. current account deficit. The financial and energy sectors provided the biggest boosts today while utilities, telecom, and real estate lagged.
WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $71.12 a barrel, up about 1.8% on the day following a slightly bearish report on U.S. inventories. December gold added about 0.5% to settle at $1,208.30. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.64% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.17%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.04%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,425, up about 1.9% on the Cboe after opening at $6,302.25 this morning. The trading range today was $6,080 to $6,545.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded up 3.16% at $236.12 in a 52-week range of $218.89 to $275.31. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 2.7 million shares.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 3.08% at $117.82. The stock’s 52-week range is $93.34 to $119.33. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 12.2 million shares.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.55% at $152.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $123.62 to $173.24. Volume was nearly 10% above the daily average of around 4.5 million.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 1.35% at $119.73. The 52-range on the stock is $108.02 to $133.88. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 5.3 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 21 were set to close higher Wednesday and 9 were on track to close lower.