November 3, 2016: Markets opened higher Thursday but drifted lower around midday. Friday morning brings the non-farm payroll report which is expected to show that 178,000 jobs were added in October and that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9%. But next Tuesday’s elections dominate traders’ temperaments. Utilities and the financial sector are trading higher while tech and consumer staples are weakest. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $44.66 a barrel, down 1.5% for the day. December gold dropped 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,303.30. Equities were headed for a lower close before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.24% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.45%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.95%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) which traded down 2.40% at $29.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.25 to $37.39. Trading volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 20 million. The drugmaker had no specific news today.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded down 1.97% at $33.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $27.68 to $38.36. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 21 million shares. The chipmaking giant announced a small acquisition this morning.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 1.73% at $109.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $122.69. Volume of about 21 million was about 60% below the daily average of around 35 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 1.00% at $28.20. The stock’s 52-week range is $27.10 to $33.00. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 30 million shares. The industrial giant had no specific news.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks just 8 are on track to close higher Thursday and 22 are set to close lower.