May 5, 2017: Markets opened higher Thursday but the blue chippers dropped into negative territory quickly and stayed there until the afternoon. The report on non-farm payrolls while the unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low. Financial and healthcare stocks were the only sector losers, while telecom and materials pushed the markets higher. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $46.22 a barrel, up 1.5% on the day, but down more than 6% for the week. June gold dropped 0.1% for the day to settle at $1,226.90, down more than 3% for the week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.16% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.29%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) which traded up 2.73% at $80.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $61.12 to $82.37. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 2.9 million. The company’s proposed merger with Brazil received approval in Brazil today.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded up 1.71% at $46.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $45.76 to $56.95. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 15.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.40% at $148.57he stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $148.91, a new 52-week posted around noon. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 24 million shares. The company’s Apple Watch now outsells Fitbit in the wearables market.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 0.92% at $63.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $53.06 to $66.80. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company’s Keytruda drug was approved in the EU.
Of the Dow stocks, 18 are on track to close higher Friday and 12 are set to close lower.