March 2, 2017: Markets opened mixed Thursday as the bulls returned to their pastures for some much needed nourishment. Some profit-taking probably helped, but jobless claims were lower than expected. Even the much anticipated Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) IPO and its 40% pop weren’t enough to lure the bulls out. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $52.61 a barrel, down 2.3% on the day. April gold dropped 1.4% on the day to settle at $1,232.90. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.45% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.57%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.74%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 4.4% at $94.25. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was nearly 5 times the daily average of around 4.4 million shares. Federal law enforcement officers from the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Commerce Department’s Office of Export Enforcement, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Office of Inspector General executed a search warrant on company facilities in Illinois.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 1.90% at $80.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.15 to $82.00. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 4.1 million shares. The company revealed a new Platinum card this morning that increased rewards to cardholders.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) which traded down 1.46% at $92.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 16 million shares. The big bank had no specific news.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded down 1.49% at $63.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $48.04 to $65.91. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 24 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 9 are on track to close higher Thursday and 21 are set to close lower.