JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Drive DJIA Higher Monday

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April 24, 2017: Markets opened higher Monday following a first round of voting in France that appears at least to maintain both the EU and the currency union. The financial sector traded more than 2% higher near the end of Monday’s trading with real estate and telecom the only sectors showing losses for the day. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $49.23 a barrel, down 0.8% on the day. June gold dropped 0.9% for the day to settle at $1,277.50. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 1.10% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.11%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.27%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) which traded up 3.64% at $87.60. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 15.7 million. The big bank had no specific news Monday, but the election news from France was particularly good for the financial sector and Morgan has been the best performing big bank on the DJIA.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 3.17% at $223.74. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $255.15. Volume was more than 10% higher than the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The bank reportedly guessed wrong on Peabody Energy and several retailers during the first quarter, but shares got a boost today for the same reason Morgan did.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.69% at $96.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was less than 10% above the daily average of around 5.4 million shares. The company reports first-quarter results before markets open Tuesday morning.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.84% at $67.62. The stock’s 52-week range is $48.04 to $67.65, and the high was posted very late in the afternoon. Volume was less than 10% above the daily average of around 22.5 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 26 are on track to close higher Monday and 4 are set to close lower.