October 28, 2016: Markets opened mixed Friday following a strong first reading on third-quarter GDP. Investors view this as a signal that a Fed rate increase may be on its way either in November or December. The consumer sentiment reading was lower than expected and the two DJIA energy stocks provided mixed results. The healthcare sector performed worst on Friday while industrials and consumer staples led the gainers. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $48.70 a barrel, down 2.1% for the day to close the week down 4%. December gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,276.80, its highest price since October 3. Equities were headed for a mixed close before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.25%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.48%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded up 4.16% at $104.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.33 to $107.58. Trading volume was more than double the daily average of around 9.3 million. The oil supermajor posted a solid gain in third-quarter profits this morning.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 2.32% at $29.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $27.10 to $33.00. Volume of nearly 51 million was about 75% above the daily average of around 30 million shares. The company is said to be in discussions to acquire oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.75% at $101.82. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $109.83. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.16% at $83.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $89.87. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 14 are on track to close higher Friday and 16 are set to close lower.