Tech Stocks Prop Up DJIA Wednesday

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March 22, 2017: Markets opened mixed Wednesday and headed lower on worries that President Trump’s promised tax reforms are going to get hung up in a long battle over the Republican healthcare proposal. Losses and gains have been moderate and tech stocks propped up all three major indexes. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $48.04 a barrel, down 0.4% on the day. April gold added 0.3% on the day to settle at $1,249.70. Equities were headed for a barely higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up  0.02% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.25%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.48%.

Stocks traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could finish with either a small gain or a small loss for any or all of the indexes.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) which traded up 1.30% at $65.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $48.04 to $65.91. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 22.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) traded up 1.06% at $35.41. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.50 to $38.45. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 23 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 0.91% at $141.11. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $142.80. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around  27 million. The introduced several new products on Tuesday, but nothing that changed the world.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded up 0.66% at $34.10. The stock’s 52-week range is $25.81 to $34.53. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 20 million shares. The company completed its acquisition of AppDynamics this morning.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 19 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 11 are set to close lower.