Visa, Caterpillar Pace the Dow Higher Wednesday

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October 31, 2018: Markets opened higher Wednesday and stayed well into the green all day. Perhaps its irrational exuberance at the end of a lousy month for equities. Only two defensive sectors–consumer staples and utilities–traded lower today. Tech and financial stocks were among the day’s leading gainers.

WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $65.31 a barrel, down 1.3% for the day and a whopping 10.8% for the month following report on U.S. stockpiles that looked supportive but was not.  December gold dropped about 0.8% to settle at $1,215.00 for the day, but up about 1.6% for the month. Equities were heading for a higher close about 15 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.22% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.32%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 2.25%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTX8) for November delivery traded at $6,290, up 0.72% for the day on the Cboe after opening at $6,250 this morning. The trading range today was $6,175 to $6,345.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) which traded up 4.29% at $138.45. The 52-week range on the stock is $106.60 to $151.56. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 8.3 million.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 4.17% at $122.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $112.06 to $173.24. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 5.5 million.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 3.84% at $227.61 in a 52-week range of $208.40 to $275.31. Volume was about 15% higher than the daily average of around 2.8 million shares.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 3.64% at $107.51. The stock’s 52-week range is $80.70 to $116.18. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 28.3 million shares.

Of the Dow stocks, 23 were set to close higher Wednesday and 7 were on track to close lower.