Visa, Microsoft Lead the Dow Higher Friday

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October 12, 2018: Markets opened higher Friday after a couple of sessions that saw a total of 5% shaved from the blue-chip index. The Dow opened up about 350 points but the gain was clipped to around 50 points in the early afternoon before heading north again. The tech sector revived somewhat, adding around 2 points, and the telecom sector was also higher. The energy sector lagged again.

WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $71.34 a barrel, up 0.5% for the day but down about 4% for the week.  December gold dropped about 0.5% to settle at $1,222.00 but up about 4% for the week. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.29% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.56%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 2.38%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTV8) for October delivery traded at $6,190, up about 0.7% on the Cboe after opening at $6,185 this morning. The trading range today was $6,090 to $6,230.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) which traded up 4.42% at $139.63 in a 52-week range of $106.60 to $151.56. Volume was about a third higher than the daily average of around 7.7 million shares.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) traded up 3.62% at $73.47. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.07 to $80.68. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 10.5 million. The company reported mixed quarterly and full-year results on Thursday.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 3.60% at $45.71. The 52-week range on the stock is $33.32 to $49.47. Volume was about a third higher than the daily average of around 20.3 million. The drugmaker announced this morning that it has settled a deceptive advertising claim for $700,000.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 3.18% at $109.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $77.25 to $116.18. Volume was about 35% higher than the daily average of around 25.8 million shares. Analysts at Macquarie raised their rating on the stock from Neutral to Outperform.

Of the Dow stocks, 26 were set to close higher Friday and just 4 were on track to close lower.