May 4, 2018: Markets opened slightly lower Friday but traders didn’t wait long to put equities on a dead path up and to the right. A not-too-bad report on non-farm payrolls threatened to raise worries about inflation but some pressure is off now that trade talks with China have begun. Tech stocks also performed especially well in the session.
WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $69.72 a barrel, up 1.9% for the day and more than 2% for the week. June gold added about about 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,314.70. Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 1.46% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.76%.
Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $9,670, down less than 0.1% on the CBOE after opening at $9,690 this morning. The trading range today was $9,530 to $9,840.
The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 4.02% at $184.00 in a 52-week range of $142.20 to $184.00, a new high posted today. Volume of more than 48 million shares was about 35% above the daily average. The company company’s iPhone X grabbed the Q1 market share crown and Warren Buffett added 75 million Apple shares today to bring his stake in the company to right around 5%.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 3.15% at $165.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $142.58 to $178.70. Volume was about 35% lower than the daily average of around 5 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 2.40% at $101.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $113.19. Volume was nearly less than 10% below the daily average of around 86 million. The company had no specific news, but its “Avengers: Infinity Wars” film may pass the $100 billion box-office mark this weekend.
The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded up 2.11% at $129.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $113.76 to $150.55. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 1.8 million. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the Dow stocks, 29 are on track to close higher Friday and and just one (Chevron) is set to close lower.