April 19, 2017: Markets opened higher Wednesday and held onto the gains through the morning before slipping lower. Only the Nasdaq Composite traded in the green late in the afternoon. The energy sector was the day’s worst performer while healthcare, with a modest gain of 0.3% was the best. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $50.26 a barrel, down 4.1% on the last day of trading on the May contract. June gold dropped 0.8% on the day to settle at $1,283.40. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.70% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.14%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which traded down 5.18% at $161.23. The stock’s 52-week range is $142.50 to $182.79. Volume was more than 4 times the daily average of around 3.8 million shares. The company posted uninspiring results this morning.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.63% at $103.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $97.53 to $119.00. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 6.5 million shares. The company had no specific news, but the sharp drop in crude prices hit Chevron hard.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.08% at $93.37. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The company trades ex-dividend on Thursday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded down 0.91% at $84.39. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 15.6 million. The big bank sold its student loan portfolio of $6.9 billion to Navient on Tuesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 7 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 13 are set to close lower.