Wal-Mart, Nike Push DJIA Higher on Thursday

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February 9, 2017: Markets opened higher Thursday and got a boost from a statement from President Trump following a meeting with airlines executives that a tax-cut plan would be coming in the next three weeks. Because the plan would virtually certainly include a nice reduction to the corporate tax structure, investors are already spending their new windfall. Judging by the sector scoreboard, financials are pegged to get the biggest breaks, followed by energy companies; utilities were the only sector to trade substantially lower. WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $53.00 a barrel, up about 1.3% on the day. April gold slipped 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,236.80. Equities were headed for a higher close close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.63% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.60%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.57%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) which traded up 2.79% at $55.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.01 to $65.44. Volume was about 25% higher than the daily average of around 8.8 million shares. The athletic apparel and gear maker had no specific news.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 1.77% at $69.02. The stock’s 52-week range is $62.35 to $75.19. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 9 million shares. The company had no specific news.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 1.56% at $241.45. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $247.77. Volume was about 25% below  the daily average of around 4.5 million shares. The investment bank said yesterday that it is closing its London-based hedge fund and moving operations back to New York.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.43% at $87.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.50 to $88.17. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of around 18.4 million shares. The big bank had no specific news.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 26 are on track to close higher Thursday and 4 are set to close lower.