August 9, 2016: Markets opened higher again Tuesday following the lead of Asian and European exchanges. The productivity report cooled investors’ enthusiasm, though, and afternoon trading saw equities slipping below the break-even line in the afternoon. As the closing bell approaches, five sectors are trading a little higher and five are trading a little lower. Energy is the big loser and healthcare the modest winner. WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $42.77 a barrel, down for the day. December gold closed up on the day to settle at $1,346.70. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded essentially flat for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.22%. The DJIA could close on either side of the break-even line today.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded down 0.71% at $82.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $84.29. Trading volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 4.9 million. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) traded down 0.69% at $68.82. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.11 to $75.72. Volume was about 75% below the daily average of around 3.2 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 0.68% at $65.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.27 to $81.66. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 4.8 million shares. The credit card issuer had no specific news Tuesday.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 0.62% at $62.47. The stock’s 52-week range is $45.69 to $64.00. Volume was nearly equal to the daily average of around 9.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 15 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 15 are set to close lower.