McDonald’s, Cisco Buoy the Dow Friday

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September 21, 2018: Markets opened higher again Friday but only the blue chips appear to be in position to end the day with a gain. There was no significant economic news today, and the tariff battle between the U.S. and China is easy to ignore what with consumer confidence and corporate profits both rocking along. Cyclical stocks traded lower Friday while defensive sectors like consumer staples and utilities did their best to prop up the indexes.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $70.78 a barrel, up about 0.7% for the day and WTI added 2.6% over the course of the week. December gold dropped about 0.8% to settle at $1,201.30 but a small gain for the week. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.26% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.04%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.60%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTU8) for September delivery traded at $6,730, up about 5.1% on the Cboe after opening at $6,420 this morning. The trading range today was $6,420 to $6,765.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 2.06% at $164.11 in a 52-week range of $146.84 to $178.70. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The company boosted its dividend by 15%.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 1.57% at $48.48. The stock’s 52-week range is $32.64 to $48.63. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 19.9 million shares.

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.27% at $372.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $251.17 to $374.48. Volume was about 33% below the daily average of around 3 million.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 173% at $121.14. The 52-range on the stock is $108.02 to $133.88. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 5.2 million.

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