October 27, 2016: Markets opened higher Thursday as corporate earnings reports once again stand in for economic news. After the market closes today, more of the high-tech giants will post results. Amazon, Alphabet, LinkedIn, and Baidu lead the field. New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, remaining below 300,000 for the 86th consecutive week (that’s more than 7 years). The real-estate sector took the biggest beating today while telecoms performed the best. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $49.72 a barrel, up 1.1%. December gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,269.50. Equities were headed for a lower close before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.12% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.68%. The DJIA has traded very close to its break-even line all day and may jump back across it by the time the bell rings to end today’s trading.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded down 1.53% at $82.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.10 to $150.59. Trading volume was more than double the daily average of around 3.3 million. Even a $5.3 billion order from UPS couldn’t keep investors from shying away from industrial stocks today.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.52% at $XX. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $89.87. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 4.4 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 1.19% at $114.22. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $123.82. Volume of about 21.7 million was about 40% below the daily average of around 36 million shares. The company’s introduction of new products didn’t yield a bonus on the share price today.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded down 0.96% at $100.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $109.83. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The company posted good earnings on Wednesday and the glow has held for a second day.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 12 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 18 are set to close lower.