Apple, United Technologies Sink DJIA on Friday

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December 30, 2016: Markets opened slightly higher Friday but in a repeat of Thursday’s action, traded mostly in the red all day. The day before a three-day holiday weekend often ends up with low volume and minor price changes because traders like to get a head start on the celebration. Every sector but real-estate traded lower Friday, with consumer discretionary and tech stocks off the most. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $53.72 a barrel, down about 0.1% on the day, but a gain of some 45% for the year. February gold dropped about 0.5% on the day to settle at $1,151.90, up 1.5% for the week and up 9% for the year. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down .052% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.52%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.98%.

Stocks traded very near the break even line and the closing bell might see some shifts in which side of the line the indexes close on.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) which traded down 0.98% at $109.47. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $111.69. Volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 3.5 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 0.88% at $121.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.33 to $131.96. Volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 0.83% at $115.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $118.69. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 32 million shares. The company is reported to be about to cut iPhone 7 production in the first calendar quarter of 2017.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 0.80% at $53.31. The stock’s 52-week range is $43.79 to $56.95. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 14 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 6 are on track to close higher Friday and 24 are set to close lower.