Verizon, United Technologies Prop Up DJIA on Wednesday

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April 26, 2017: Markets opened higher again Wednesday and bounced around in positive territory throughout the day’s session. Optimism related to the Trump administration’s tax reform proposal also put some air under equity prices. The telecom sector was posting the best gain for the day while consumer staples and real estate lagged in the red. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $49.62 a barrel, up 0.1% on the day. June gold dropped 0.2% for the day to settle at $1,264.20. Equities were headed for a narrowly higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.01% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.02%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 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 gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) which traded up 1.45% at $47.38. The stock’s 52-week range is $46.01 to $56.95. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 15.8 million shares. The company had no specific news, but FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has outlined his plan for reversing net neutrality rules and the change is expected to benefit wireless carriers.

United Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.35% at $118.45. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.89 to $119.258, and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about a third higher than the daily average of around 3 million. The industrial giant reported results this morning that were better than estimates on both profits and revenues.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded up 0.96% at $122.48. The stock’s 52-week range is $103.45 to $125.49. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 1.4 million shares. The insurer had no specific news Wednesday.

The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded up 0.83% at $154.34. The stock’s 52-week range is $119.20 to $154.81, a new 52-week high posted this afternoon. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.9 million shares. The home improvement retailer had no specific news.

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