Verizon, Boeing Bolster DJIA Thursday

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July 27, 2017: Markets opened higher again Thursday on a strong earnings report from Verizon on top of Wednesday’s strong report from AT&T. The telecom sector was the day’s leading gainer (by a mile) and the tech and healthcare sectors were the laggards. WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $49.04 a barrel, up 0.6% for the day. August gold added 0.9% on the day to settle at $1,256.00. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.22% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.87%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) which traded up 7.39% at $47.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.80 to $55.82. Volume was well over double the daily average of about 14.3 million shares. The company reported good results this morning, including a sharp net subscription addition total.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 3.30% at $63.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.18 to $66.80. Volume was about double the daily average of around 8.8 million shares. The company had no specific news, but a failed late-stage trial for competitor Astra-Zeneca gave Merck’s share a booster shot.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 2.85% at $240.09. The stock’s 52-week range is $126.31 to $242.66 and the high was posted this morning . Volume was about three times the daily average of around 3 million. The company posted strong second quarter results Wednesday morning and is now the DJIA’s most heavily weighted component, accounting for 7.36% of the price-weighted index’s total value.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 2.83% at $109.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $116.10. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 7 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

Of the Dow stocks, 17 are on track to close higher Thursday and 13 are set to close lower.