July 5, 2017: Markets opened slightly higher Monday for the first full day of trading since last Friday. The 2 p.m. release of last month’s FOMC minutes lifted equities only a little. Results were mixed at best, with the blue chips down slightly and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite putting up the best gain for the day. WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $45.13 a barrel, down 4.1% on the day on a report that the oil production cut is not likely to reduce the current glut now that Russia has declined either to extend the current cuts or expand them. August gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,221.70. Equities were headed for a narrowly higher shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.05% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.74%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 2.88% at $34.43. The stock’s 52-week range is $32.38 to $38.45. Volume was about flat with the daily average of about 21.6 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.69% at $201.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $123.96 to $204.39. Volume was about half the daily average of around 2.9 million. Defense stocks, in general, got a bit of a boost from the saber-rattling over North Korea.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.07% at $93.75. The stock’s 52-week range is $58.76to $93.98. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 15 million shares. Shares rose late in the session following a report that the bank may make a counteroffer for fintech company Worldpay.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 0.79% at $188.12. The stock’s 52-week range is $132.39 to $188.66. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of around 3 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 15 are set to close lower.