Goldman, Merck Lead DJIA Thursday Plunge

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September 29, 2016: Markets opened slightly higher again Thursday following Wednesday’s announced agreement among OPEC members to rein in production. Comments various Fed officials talking a rate hike later this year cooled enthusiasm for equities, and by mid-day stocks were trading in the red. Only the telecom sector maintains a small gain for the day, with healthcare and financials the worst performing sectors. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $47.83 a barrel, up 1.7% for the day. December gold closed up 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,326.00. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down by 0.80% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.64%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.65%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded down 2.81% at $158.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $199.90. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news Thursday.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 2.05% at $62.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.97 to $64.00 Trading volume was 15% below the daily average of around 9.6 million. The drug company had no specific news.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 1.82% at $52.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $51.48 to $68.19. Volume was nearly 50% above the daily average of around 9.4 million shares. News reports of a comeback by Adidas gave investors a chance to get out of Nike.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded down 1.68% at $33.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.25 to $37.39. Volume was less than 10% below the daily average of around 19 million shares. No specific news on Pfizer either.

Of the 30 Dow index stocks just 3 are on track to close higher Thursday and 27 are  set to close lower.