April 4, 2017: Markets opened lower Tuesday following some indifferent results in Monday’s session. Utilities and energy paced the sector trading with financials and healthcare dragging equities lower. The political winds are blowing investors first one way, then another, as President Trump prepares for a first meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping and we all prepare for the non-farm payrolls report due Friday. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $51.03 a barrel, up 1.6% on the day. June gold added 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,258.40. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.17% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded flat.
All three major indexes 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 Tuesday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 2.10% at $94.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.2 million. The company was upgraded to Goldman Sachs’ Conviction Buy list this morning.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.00% at $113.05. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.89 to $114.44. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3 million shares. The company had no specific news.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 0.95% at $178.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $122.35 to $185.71. Volume was half the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The company signed a memorandum of agreement with Iran Aseman Airlines work about $3 billion at list prices.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 0.74% at $144.77. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $144.89, a new 52-week set this afternoon. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 27 million shares. The company said it will launch revamped versions of its desktop Mac Pro computer in 2018.
Of the Dow 30 stocks, 19 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 11 are set to close lower.