May 31, 2017: Markets opened slightly higher Wednesday but the uptick didn’t last long. Equities turned negative as crude prices tumbled, worries surfaced about Friday’s non-farm payroll report, and the future of the Fed’s interest rate increases. Once again, the energy sector was the day’s worst performer and even gains in telecom and utilities couldn’t lift stocks out of the red. WTI crude oil for July delivery settled at $48.32 a barrel, down 2.7% for the day and more than 2% for the month of May. August gold added 0.8% for the day to settle at $1,275.40 and up about 0.6% for the month. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.09% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.05%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded down 3.58% at $210.59. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $255.15 Volume was about 80% above the daily average of around 3.7 million shares. The company continued to draw fire for its decision to buy $2.8 billion worth of distressed Venezuelan debt.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded down 2.46% at $81.83. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.05 to $93.98. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 15 million shares. The bank said this morning that trading revenues would drop about 15% in the second quarter.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded down 0.57% at $70.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $48.04 to $70.74, and the high was posted early this morning. Volume was about 20% lower than the daily average of around 22 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded down 0.59% at $152.76. The stock’s 52-week range is $91.50 to $156.65. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 25 million. The company will reportedly release a competitor to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home digital assistants later this year.
Of the Dow stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 14 are set to close lower.