April 13, 2017: Markets opened slightly lower Thursday, turning higher in the morning before drifting lower in the afternoon. Three big U.S. banks reported first-quarter mixed first-quarter results this morning, new claims for unemployment benefits were lower than expected, and a consumer sentiment index posted a solid number. Still, investors are wary. Energy and materials were leading all 11 S&P equity sectors down in Thursday’s trading session. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $53.18 a barrel, up 0.1% on the day and up about 1.8% for the short week. June gold added 0.8% on the day to settle at $1,288.50, another multi-month high. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.55% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.50%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.35%.
Markets are closed Friday, April 14, in observance of Good Friday.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded down 2.31% at $106.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $95.52 to $119.00. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.5 million shares. The company is said to be exploring the sale of its assets in the Canadian oil sands.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.69% at $93.26. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.41% at $81.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $80.31 to $95.55. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The oil & gas giant was hit by investor concerns about the slow rebalancing in crude oil markets.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) traded down 1.36% at $77.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.12 to $82.37. Volume was 35% below the daily average of around 2.9 million. The company had no specific news Thursday.
Of the Dow stocks, just 2 are on track to close higher Thursday and 28 are set to close lower.