Caterpillar, Nike Bolster the Dow Monday

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May 7, 2018: Markets opened higher Monday but gains were relatively modest and by the late afternoon, more modest still. A proposed takeover of Athenahealth by private equity firm Elliott Management was today’s big deal. Traders are waiting to see what Trump does about re-imposing sanctions on Iran, a move virtually guaranteed to lift the price of oil even higher.

WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $70.73 a barrel, up 1.5% for the day. Prices at the pump were slightly lower this week however. June gold dipped less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,314.10.  Equities were headed for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.36% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.33%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.77%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTK8) for May delivery traded at $9,430, down about 2.8% on the CBOE after opening at $9,620 this morning. The trading range today was $9,175 to $9,680.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 2.28% at $149.70 in a 52-week range of $97.74 to $173.24. Volume was about equal to the daily average of 5.8 million. The company had no specific news..

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE)) traded up 1.57% at $69.17. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.35 to $70.25. Volume was about half the daily average of around 7.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Monday.

The Boeing Col (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.63% at $339.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $175.47 to $371.90. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 5.6 million. The company had no specific news.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.13% at $102.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.20 to $113.19. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 8 million. The company had no specific news, but its “Avengers: Infinity Wars” film broke box office records over the weekend.

Of the Dow stocks, 17 are on track to close higher Monday and 13 are set to close lower.