September 19, 2016: Markets opened higher Monday and while most sectors traded in the green the gains didn’t add up to much. Fresh speculation about an OPEC production freeze pushed oil prices up this morning. A weaker dollar combined with meetings this week of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan took some of the shine of the early morning glow. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $43.30 a barrel, up 0.6% for the day. December gold closed up 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,317.80. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA up by 0.04% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up by 0.05%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down by 0.18%. Indexes are trading very close to their break-even line, so when the final bell rings there could be some changes in these numbers.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded down 1.35% at $37.16. The stock’s 52-week range is $27.68 to $38.05. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 22.8 million shares. The company raised its third quarter revenue and gross margin this morning.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 1.25% at $61.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.97 to $64.00. Trading volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 9.9 million. The drug company had no specific news.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 1.25% at $113.48. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $123.82. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 36 million shares. Consumer Reports magazine said the iPhone 7 cameras are not much better than those in the iPhone 6.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 1.14% at $51.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.20 to $56.95. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 14 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 17 are on track to close higher Monday and 13 are set to close lower.