July 17, 2017: Markets opened mixed Monday and never strayed far from the break-even line. The best performing sectors were Utilities and consumer discretionaries while healthcare was the laggard. WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $46.02 a barrel, down 1.1% on the day following a bearish report on U.S. production. August gold added 0.5% on the day to settle at $1,233.70. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded done 0.04% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.01%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.03%.
Stocks 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 Monday was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) which traded down 1.09% at $152.57. The stock’s 52-week range is $147.79 to 182.79. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of about 4.4 million shares. The company announced a new mainframe computer system this morning that automatically encrypts data.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded down 1.03% at $91.30. The stock’s 52-week range is $63.38 to $94.51. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 14.6 million. The company had no specific news Monday.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded down 0.87% at $33.14. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.83 to $37.39. Volume was half the daily average of around 20.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 0.71% at $62.61. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.18 to $66.80. Volume was less than half the daily average of around 9 million shares. The company had no specific news Monday.
Of the Dow stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Monday and 14 are set to close lower.