Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Lift the Dow Tuesday

July 17, 2018: Markets opened lower Tuesday but equities quickly reversed course and muddled through the rest of the day with some gains. Fed chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would make no sudden moves on monetary policy, but that rate increases would continue “gradually.” The materials sector was the day’s big gainer and real estate was posted the biggest decline. Three Dow stocks reported second-quarter earnings this morning: Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and UnitedHealth.

WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $68.08 a barrel, up 2 cents for the day. August gold settled down 1% at $1,227.30. Equities were heading for a higher close about 10 minutes before the bell as the Dow traded up 0.29% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.51%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.76%.

Bitcoin futures (XBTN8) for July delivery traded at $7,340, up about 10% on the CBOE after opening at $6,650 this morning. The trading range today was $6,650 to $7,470.

The Dow stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) which traded up 3.46% at $129.01. The 52-range on the stock is $118.62 to $148.32. Volume of around 10 million was about 35% above the daily average.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) traded up 2.33% at $67.25. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.27 to $77.08. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 8 million.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.50% at $130.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $109.10 to $139.24. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.9 million shares.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.37% at $106.35 in a 52-week range of $71.28 to $106.49. Volume was more than 30% below the daily average of around 26 million shares. The company signed a five-year deal with Walmart for cloud services.

Of the Dow stocks, 21 were set to close higher Tuesday and 9 were on track to close lower.

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