DJIA Dragged Lower by UnitedHealth, Nike on Thursday

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August 25, 2016: Markets opened lower again Thursday but traded higher for most of the day until the before dipping below the break-even line by early afternoon. Healthcare and energy stocks led the losers and the materials sector showed the best positive move on the day. Investors appear to be holding onto their wallets before Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s speech in Jackson Hole tomorrow. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $47.33 a barrel, up 1.2% for the day. December gold closed down 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,324.60. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded lower by 0.22% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.19%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.16%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded down 1.86% at $137.26. The stock’s 52-week range is $107.51 to $144.48. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 1.57% at $59.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.97 to $64.00. Trading volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 10.4 million. The sports apparel and gear company had no specific news Thursday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded down 1.18% at $71.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.30 to $75.19. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 4.2 million shares. The company had no specific news, but competitors Dollar General and Dollar Tree both reported weakish results today.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 0.72% at $87.39. The stock’s 52-week range is $71.51 to $95.55. Volume was about half the daily average of around 10.9 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

Of the 30 Dow index stocks 12 are on track to close higher Thursday and 18 are set to close lower.