General Electric, Verizon Weigh on DJIA Friday

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April 21, 2017: Markets opened mixed Friday and equities never moved very far from the break-even line all day. A terrorist attack in Paris draws attention to this weekend’s first round of voting in the French Presidential election. The utilities and industrials sectors showed some gains today, but the telecom and financial sectors kept the pressure on. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $49.62 a barrel, down 2.2% on the day and down about 7.4% for the week. June gold added 0.4% for the day to settle at $1,289.10, up about 60 cents for the week. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.02% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.17%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.04%.

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 loss ahead of the close Friday was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) which traded down 2.32% at $47.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $46.01 to $56.95. Volume was more than 70% above the daily average of around 15.9 million shares. Analysts and investors were worried about the telecom giant’s subscriber losses in the first quarter.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 1.88% at $29.70. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.19 to $33.00. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 29 million shares. The company reported good enough, but hardly, impressive earnings this morning.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) traded down 1.02% at $160.64. The stock’s 52-week range is $142.50 to $182.79. Volume was less than 10% above the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The company had no specific news.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded down 0.99% at $84.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was less than 10% below the daily average of around 15.6 million. The big bank had no specific news Friday.

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