January 13, 2017: Markets opened higher Friday but the blue chips spent the day slowing losing the early gain. The financials and consumer discretionary stocks were performing best among the S&P industry sectors; utilities and telecom were the laggards. The day’s economic news was mixed with retail sales up on auto and gasoline sales, business inventories were up slightly, and consumer sentiment was okay. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $52.37 a barrel, down about 1.3% on the day and down 3% for the week. February gold dropped 0.3% on the day to settle at $1,196.20, but up about 1.9% for the week. Equities were headed for a mixed close close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.24%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.48%.
The Dow 30 stocks traded very near the break even line late in the session and the closing bell might see some shifts in which side of the line the index close on.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded down about 1.15% at $67.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $60.20 to $75.19. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 8.4 million shares. The company had now specific news, but the government report on retail sales didn’t do Wal-Mart stock any favors.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded down 0.64% at $110.11. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $112.83. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The industrial giant had no specific news Friday.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) traded down 0.58% at $73.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.88 to $75.86. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 2.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 0.52% at $121.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.33 to $131.96. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday, but investors continue to wonder about McDonald’s plan to sell big stakes in both its China and Japan operations.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 13 are on track to close higher Friday and 17 are set to close lower.