Intel, Walgreens Push the Dow Higher Thursday

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September 20, 2018: Markets opened higher again Thursday after which both the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes climbed to new all-time highs. Jobless claims fell last week to a level not seen in nearly 50 years and the Philadelphia Fed reported a near-doubling of its manufacturing index in September. Even tariff worries got buried. Energy was the only sector posting even a tiny loss Thursday as tech and consumer staples stocks were the day’s big gainers.

WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $70.80 a barrel, down about 0.5% on the October contract’s expiration day. The November contract closed at $$70.32. December gold added about 0.3% to settle at $1,211.30. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.96% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.85%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.04%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,410, up about 0.2% on the Cboe after opening at $6,405 this morning. The trading range today was $6,345 to $6,435.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 2.47% at $47.29 in a 52-week range of $36.85 to $57.60. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 24 million shares.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 2.19% at $72.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.07 to $80.68. Volume was about half the daily average of around 7.5 million shares.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.13% at $156.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $123.62 to $173.24. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 4.5 million. Analysts at Baird raised their rating on the stock from Neutral to Outperform and boosted the price target from $155 to $191.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.11% at $70.18. The 52-range on the stock is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 7.2 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 28 were set to close higher Thursday and just 2 were on track to close lower.