General Electric, Merck Lead Drop in DJIA Friday

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May 12, 2017: Markets opened mixed Friday following lackluster earnings results from two more retailers, Penney’s and Nordstrom. Investors are also concerned that the turmoil in the Trump administration will delay the President’s promised tax cut package. Utilities and tech stocks traded higher while industrials provided the biggest drag. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $47.84 a barrel, up a penny on the day, but closed the week up 3.5%. June gold added 0.3% for the day to settle at $1,227.70 and a gain of less than 0.1% for the week. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.16% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.21%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.04%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded down 2.36% at $28.19. The stock’s 52-week range is $27.85 to $33.00 and the low was posted this afternoon. Volume was heading toward double the daily average of around 29 million shares. The company’s stock was downgraded this morning at Deutsche Bank from Hold to Sell.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 1.41% at $63.52. The stock’s 52-week range is $53.59 to $66.80. Volume was 15% below the daily average of around 9.2 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded down 0.93% at $171.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $128.53 to $176.14. Volume was about half the daily average of around 3.5 million. The company had no specific news Friday.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) traded down 0.79% at $33.37. The stock’s 52-week range is $26.46 to $34.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 19 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.

Of the Dow stocks, 7 are on track to close higher Friday and 23 are set to close lower.