McDonald’s, Merck Lift DJIA on Tuesday

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September 20, 2016: Markets opened higher Tuesday as no sector was showing big gains but healthcare stocks the clear leader. Traders and investors are likely trying to position themselves for the markets’ reactions to Wednesday’s announcements from the Fed and the Bank of Japan. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $43.44 a barrel, up 0.3% for the day. December gold closed up just 40 cents on the day to settle at $1,318.20. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up by 0.26% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.21%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.26%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 1.21% at $116.61. The stock’s 52-week range is $95.78 to $131.96. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 5 million shares. The company has announced some changes to its popular all-day breakfast menu, changes that consumers have been clamoring for.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 1.18% at $62.06. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.97 to $64.00. Trading volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 9.9 million. The drug company had no specific news.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 1.10% at $29.75. The stock’s 52-week range is $24.26 to $33.00. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 35 million shares. The industrial giant said that it plans to expand its software division to help it compete better with the likes of Alphabet and Amazon.

3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 0.74% at $178.02. The stock’s 52-week range is $134.64 to $182.27. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 1.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday.

Of the 30 Dow index stocks 24 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 6 are set to close lower.