Intel, Caterpillar Buoy the Dow Tuesday

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October 2, 2018: Markets opened mixed Tuesday with the Dow blue chips going on to put up a new all-time high and a reasonable gain shortly before the close. IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned this morning that trade tensions could slow global growth. The telecom and utilities sectors were the day’s best performers while consumer discretionary stocks lagged. Healthcare and tech stocks dragged on the Nasdaq Composite all day.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $75.23 a barrel, down less than 0.1% for the day.  December gold added about 1.3% to settle at $1,207.00. Equities were heading for a mixed close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.51% for the day, the S&P 500 traded flat, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.43%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,519.50, down about 0.4% on the Cboe after opening at $6,555 this morning. The trading range today was $6,435 to $6,590.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 3.72% at $48.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $38.86 to $57.60. Volume was about 40% higher than the daily average of around 23.2 million. Some harsh words (and a downgrade to Neutral) for competitor AMD from analysts at Baird put some air under Intel shares.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.70% at $154.87 in a 52-week range of $124.35 to $173.24. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 4.4 million shares.

3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 1.50% at $215.38. The 52-week range on the stock is $190.57 to $259.77. Volume was about half the daily average of around 2.2 million.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 1.37% at $73.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.07 to $80.68. Volume was about half the daily average of around 6.3 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 24 were set to close higher Tuesday and 6 were on track to close lower.