Apple, Disney Buoy the Dow Thursday

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September 27, 2018: Markets higher again Thursday and while the gains are drifting downward, it doesn’t appear that we’re going to see a repeat of yesterday’s last-minute sell-off. The final report on Q2 GDP showed growth at 4.2%, unchanged from the prior estimate. Tech stocks and utilities have had the best gains today while basic materials stocks lagged.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $72.12 a barrel, up about 0.8% for the day. December gold dropped about 1% to settle at $1,187.40. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.21% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.29%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.69%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,505, up about 0.5% on the Cboe after opening at $6,440 this morning. The trading range today was $6,410 to $6,520.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 3.08% at $225.02 in a 52-week range of $150.24 to $229.67. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 27.9 million shares. J.P. Morgan initiated coverage on the company this morning.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 1.25% at $73.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.07 to $80.68. Volume was about 60% lower than the daily average of around 7 million.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 0.80% at $84.37. The 52-week range on the stock is $50.35 to $86.04. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 7 million.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 0.73% at $116.05. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.80 to $117.90. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 6.9 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 17 were set to close higher Thursday and 13 were on track to close lower.