Caterpillar, Exxon Lead Dow Higher Thursday

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April 6, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday and gathered strength until early afternoon when all three major indexes gave back most of the day’s gains. Energy and real estate led the S&P sectors, while telecom lagged. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $51.70 a barrel, up 1.1% on the day. June gold added 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,253.30. Equities were headed for a modestly higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.05% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.16%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 1.66% at $95.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 0.56% at $83.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $80.31 to $95.55. Volume was about half the daily average of around 13 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 0.50% at $109.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $94.08 to $119.00. Volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 6.6 million. The company had no specific news, but crude prices have risen for three straight trading sessions and that’s good for the energy giants.

Nike Corp. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 0.38% at $55.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.01 to $60.58. Volume was 40% below the daily average of around 9.5 million shares. The athletic gear maker had no specific news Thursday.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Thursday and 14 are set to close lower.