June 5, 2014: Markets opened higher on Thursday, took a short-lived trip south, and then tacked a nice gain on all three major indexes. New claims for jobless benefits posted their lowest four-week rolling average since June 2007, instilling hope for tomorrow’s report on non-farm payrolls. Shortly before the closing bell the DJIA traded up 0.57% for the day, the S&P 500 was up 0.62%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.84%.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was today’s big gainer among the Dow 30. The heavy equipment maker’s stock traded at $107.03, up 2.61% in a 52-week range of $80.86 to $108.21. Share volume was about 20% lower than the daily average of nearly 5 million shares traded. Caterpillar likely got a boost from the solid earnings results posted by far smaller competitor Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY) today.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) came within half a dollar of its 52-week high today following an upgrade to Outperform and price target hike to $49 from FBR. Shares posted a rise of 2.16% today and traded at $41.19 in a 52-week range of $30.84 to $41.66. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 33 million shares.
Investors are probably relieved and happy that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) managed to dodge the threatened $10 billion in fines now facing France’s BNP Paribas. Morgan’s shares rose 1.73% today to $56.65 in a 52-week range is $50.06 to $61.48. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of nearly 18 million shares traded.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded higher by 1.09% at $136.80 in a 52-week range of $96.31 to $144.57. The company announced that it took orders for 14 new aircraft in the week ended June 3rd. Boeing now has 394 net new orders in 2014, with all but 9 for the venerable 737. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.7 million shares traded.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 25 looked to close higher today while 4 were on their way to a lower finish and one was looking to close flat.