Nike, McDonald’s Push DJIA Higher Wednesday

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October 12, 2016: Markets opened mixed Wednesday in a continuation of Tuesday’s downbeat finish. The energy, healthcare, and basic materials sectors were the day’s leading losers, while real estate, utilities, and telecom sectors performed best. The JOLTS survey showed fewer job openings than expected and the FOMC minutes simply confirmed what everyone knew: there could be a hike to the policy interest rate real soon now. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.18 a barrel, down 1.2% for the day. December gold closed down 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,253.80. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up by 0.19% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.19%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.08%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) which traded up 1.35% at $52.52. The stock’s 52-week range is $51.48 to $68.19. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 9 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded up 1.25% at $115.43. The stock’s 52-week range is $101.23 to $119.32. Trading volume was about equal to the daily average of around 1.3 million. The insurance giant had no specific news Wednesday, but seems to be get a little lift from the lower-than-expected damage from Hurricane Matthew.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 1.04% at $114.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $101.60 to $131.96. Volume was less than 40% below the daily average of around 4.7 million shares. The world’s largest fast-food chain had no specific news.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded up 0.90% at $50.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $43.79 to $56.95. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 12 million shares. The telecom company had no specific news either.

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