March 16, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday but the uptick did not last longer. Within an hour shares had dropped and a brief turn higher was foiled quickly. The worst performing sectors for the day are utilities and healthcare, with financials showing the only decent gain. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $48.75 a barrel, down 0.2% on the day. April gold added 2.2% on the day to settle at $1,227.10. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.11% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.22%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.02%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) which traded down 1.14% at $80.56. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.12 to $81.51. Volume was roughly 40% below the daily average of around 2.6 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.00% at $107.79. The stock’s 52-week range is $92.25 to $119.00. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 6.3 million shares. The integrated oil & gas company had no specific news.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded down 0.69% at $34.39. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.74 to $37.39. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 25 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 0.68% at $64.26. The stock’s 52-week range is $51.33 to $66.80. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of nearly 10.8 million. There have been reports that lawsuits are coming related to the company’s Zostavax shingles vaccine.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 9 are on track to close higher Thursday and 21 are set to close lower.