General Electric, Caterpillar Push DJIA Higher Friday

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March 10, 2017: Markets opened higher Friday following another month of strong non-farm payroll gains. Top performing sectors today were industrials, telecoms, and utilities. The weakest performer was real-estate. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $48.49 a barrel, down 1.6% on the day and down more than 9% for the week. April gold dropped 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,201.40. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.20% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.35%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded up 2.14% at $30.30. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.19 to $33.00. Shares got a boost on a report that CEO Jeff Immelt is being pushed to retire.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 1.11% at $169.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $122.22 to $3170.00, a new high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.5 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.03% at $92.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 4.9 million shares. The company has denied fraud allegations made earlier this week in a federal report.

The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded up 0.74% at $91.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $79.10 to $91.89. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 9.2 million shares. The consumer products company had no specific news.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 24 are on track to close higher Friday and 6 are set to close lower.