March 3, 2017: Markets opened slightly higher Thursday but none of the three major indexes strayed far from the break-even line. Counter-cyclical sectors like consumer staples and utilities traded lower and only the financial and healthcare sectors showed much of a gain. Everyone must be worn out following the frenzy of the Snap IPO. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $53.33 a barrel, up 1.4% on the day, but down 1.2% for the week. April gold dropped 0.5% on the day to settle at $1,226.50 and down 2.5% for the week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.02%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.09%.
Stocks traded very near the break even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could differ from these results.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded up 1.08% at $253.76. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $255.15. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 4 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 0.85% at $92.92. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 16 million shares. The big bank had no specific news.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 0.80% at $95.11. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was nearly 40% higher than the daily average of around 4.7 million shares. Federal law enforcement officers on Thursday executed a search warrant on company facilities in Illinois. Cat appears to have shaken off the news.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 0.62% at $111.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $111.99. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 7.5 million shares. The media giant’s latest superhero film, “Logan,” opens Friday with weekend sales forecast at more than $80 million in box office receipts.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 12 are on track to close higher Friday and 18 are set to close lower.