UnitedHealth, Travelers Boost DJIA Thursday

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May 25, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday and both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite scored new highs. The energy has dropped about 2% following this morning’s announcement from OPEC that the cartel would not increase the level of production cuts although it did extend the cuts for nine months instead of the originally planned six months. WTI crude oil for July delivery settled at $48.90 a barrel, down 4.8%. June gold added 0.3% for the day to settle at $1,256.40. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.43% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.58%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.86%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded up 1.57% at $178.34. The stock’s 52-week range is $132.39 to $178.73, a new 52-week high. Volume was about half the daily average of around 3.5million shares. The company had no specific news.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded up 1.39% at $123.75. The stock’s 52-week range is $103.45 to $125.49. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 1.4 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.51% at $69.81. The stock’s 52-week range is $48.04 to $69.81, a 52-week high set this afternoon. Volume was about 30% lower than the daily average of around 22.4 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.04% at $105.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $70.53 to $105.98. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.7 million. The company had no specific news.

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