Caterpillar, Cisco Push the Dow Higher Thursday

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November 15, 2018: Markets opened lower Thursday but now appear on track to reverse direction and close the day with a gain on all three major indexes. Some easing in the trade dispute with China and some sort of agreement of Brexit that may or may not lead to a resolution of the issue probably had as much as anything to do with today’s modest gains.

WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $56.46 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day following a massive increase in the U.S. commercial crude oil inventory. December gold also added about 0.4% to settle at $1,215.00 for the day. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.53% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.76%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.43%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTZ8) for December delivery traded at $5,420, down about 0.2% for the day on the Cboe after opening at $5,485 this morning. The trading range today was $5,135 to $7,415.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) which traded up 5.49% at $46.76 in a 52-week range of $35.81 to $49.47. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 21.4 million shares. Investors liked what they heard about quarterly earnings.

3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 3.21% at $204.43. The stock’s 52-week range is $181.98 to $259.77. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 2.5 million shares.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 3.16% at $129.05. The 52-week range on the stock is $112.06 to $173.24. Volume was about 15% lower than the daily average of around 5.9 million.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 2.32% at $109.81 The stock’s 52-week range is $97.57 to $119.33. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 14.2 million.

Of the Dow stocks, 20 were set to close higher Thursday and 10 were on track to close lower.