September 26, 2018: Markets higher Wednesday but steady gains throughout the day were mostly given back in the afternoon following the FOMC announcement of an interest rate hike to a new target of 2% to 2.25%. The forecast for rates going forward didn’t change much. The energy and telecom sectors were performing worst today, while the consumer discretionary stocks were doing the heavy lifting.
WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $71.57 a barrel, down about 1% for the day. December gold dropped about 0.5% to settle at $1,199.10. Equities were heading for a lower close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded down 0.41% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.33%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.19%. Equities took a dive in the last 15 minutes of trading.
Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,470, up about 1.6% on the Cboe after opening at $6,370 this morning. The trading range today was $6,300 to $6,525.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which traded up 2.22% at $152.22 in a 52-week range of $137.45 to $171.13. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. UBS analyst John Roy upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $160 to $180.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.8% at $115.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.80 to $117.90. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 6.8 million shares. The company lost a blind auction when Comcast outbid Fox for the rights to acquire U.K-based payTV service Sky. Disney said today it would tender its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast and receive a payment of around $15 billion.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded down 1.54% at $66.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 7.2 million.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 1.36% at $108.38. The 52-week range on the stock is $87.54 to $111.77. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 3.1 million.
Of the Dow stocks, 8 were set to close higher Wednesday and 22 were on track to close lower.