February 16, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday but was unable to keep the ball rolling toward ever higher heights. The likeliest explanation is that some traders are booking profits, but there seems to be little sentiment for any sort of serious sell-off. Energy was the S&P’s most poorly performing sector with utilities pegging the largest gain. WTI crude oil for March delivery settled at $53.36 a barrel, up about 0.5% on the day. April gold added 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,241.60, a three-month high. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.01% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.17%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.15%.
Stocks traded very near the break even line just minutes before the closing bell. The official closing tally could differ from these results.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) which traded up 2.56% at $33.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $25.65 to $33.97, and the high was posted this morning. Volume was nearly two-thirds higher than the daily average of around 22.6 million shares. The company reported quarterly results after markets closed Wednesday.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded up 1.78% at $41.16. The stock’s 52-week range is $39.88 to $47.13. Volume was about 25% higher than the daily average of around 14 million shares. The company had no specific news.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 0.90% at $183.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $153.64 to $183.46, a new 52-week high set this afternoon. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 1.9 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 0.83% at $36.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.38 to $38.45. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 21.6 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Thursday and 14 are set to close lower.