April 9, 2018: Markets opened higher Monday and the leading indexes managed to build on their early gains to put up decent gains by late afternoon. The worries over a trade war that sank the market Friday mostly evaporated by Monday even before we begin to get earnings later this week from some of the nation’s biggest banks. The indexes began dropping with about an hour to go in the trading session.
WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $63.42 a barrel, up 2.2% for the day. June gold added about 0.3% on the day to settle at $1,340.10. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.65% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.72%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.88%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTJ8) for April delivery traded at $6,680, down about 1.1% on the CBOE after opening at $6,720 this morning. The digital currency’s trading range for the day was $6,480 to $7,220.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) which traded up 5.81% at $56.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.83 to $66.41. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 13 million shares. The company had positive results from a key trial of its lung cancer drug.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 2.31% at $49.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $53.78. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 34.8 million. The company had no specific news.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.92% at $111.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.64 to $119.33. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 16.3 million. The big bank had no specific news Monday.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) traded up 1.85% at $153.36 in a 52-week range of $139.13 to $172.56. Volume of about 3 million shares was about 40% below the daily average. The company had no specific news.
Of the Dow stocks, 26 are on track to close higher Monday and 4 are set to close lower.