December 16, 2013: Markets opened higher on Monday morning following better than expected economic data on productivity and industrial production. The Empire State manufacturing index missed expectations, but came in higher than November’s reading. The DJIA closed up 0.82%, the S&P 500 closed up 0.63%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.71%.
Among heavily traded DJIA stocks, today’s big gainer was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which opened this morning just $0.65 above its 52-week low. That’s got to be a buying opportunity for someone. A good time for a buyback or for Warren Buffett to add more? IBM traded 1.4 million shares over its daily average of 5 million shares and closed at $177.91, up 2.96%, in a 52-week range of $146.25 to $208.00. This was the leading gainer among the Dow 30.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) opened slightly higher this morning kept its upward momentum virtually the entire day. More than 50 million shares were traded, above the stock’s average daily volume of around 45 million. Like IBM, shares were very close to the 52-week low and this is a buying opportunity. Shares closed up 2.22% at $20.69 in a 52-week range of $19.31 to $26.49.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) opened higher and jumped to a new 52-week high in the first hour of trading. The manufacturing numbers that came out this morning were good enough to lead some analysts and investors to see an improving economy going into the new year. The upgrade to Buy from Goldman Sachs did not hurt the shares either. Trading was more than 50% higher than the average daily volume. The stock closed up 2% at $97.22 in a 52-week range of $84.70 to $98.88.
The other big Dow 30 gainer today was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) opened higher today as well. This is another depressed stock, although not as near its low as either IBM or Cisco. It was clearly a buying opportunity on the manufacturing reports. Volume was nearly 20% above the daily average of 5 million. The stock closed up 1.56% at $87.39 in a 52-week range of $79.49 to $99.70.
Only 4 of the Dow 30 stocks traded lower today, and none fell more than 1%.