UnitedHealth, Nike Weigh on DJIA Tuesday

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May 16, 2017: Markets opened higher again Tuesday but none of the indexes was able to remain above the breakeven line for the whole day. Home Depot’s earnings were better than expected, but most of the big cap stocks have already reported quarterly results and there’s not much left. The tech and financial sectors were the only stocks to post a gain on Tuesday, and the losers were led by energy and utilities stocks. WTI crude oil for June delivery settled at $48.66 a barrel, down 0.4% on the day. June gold added 0.5% for the day to settle at $1,236.40. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.01% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.05%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.28%.

The DJIA and S&P 500 indexes traded very near the breakeven 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 Tuesday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded down 2.04% at $168.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $128.76 to $176.14. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 9.5 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday, but a reported whistleblower has implicated several health insurers with ripping off the Medicare Advantage program.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 1.84% at $52.78. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.01 to $60.33. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 9 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded down 1.71% at $32.56. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.83 to $37.39. Volume was about 50% higher than the daily average of around 22.5 million. The company had no specific news Tuesday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded down 1.42% at $72.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $62.72 to $77.05. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 8.3 million shares. The world’s largest retailer had no specific news.

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