July 31, 2017: Markets opened higher Monday as hopes are high for Friday’s employment report and some big earnings due this week. The tech and materials sectors were the day’s laggard while financial and energy stocks traded higher. WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $50.19 a barrel, up 0.9% for the day and 8.9% for the month. December gold dropped 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,275.30 to close the month up 2.5%. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.42% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.09%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.28%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded up 1.36% at $109.59. The stock’s 52-week range is $97.53 to $119.00. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of about 5.4 million shares. The company had no specific news, but after bouncing around a bit, crude oil prices lodged a decent gain for the day and that always helps Chevron.
The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded up 1.23% at $149.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $119.20 to $160.86. Volume was about a third lower than the daily average of around 4.6 million shares. The company had no specific news.
The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PB) traded up 0.95% at $91.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.18 to $92.00. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.3 million. The company had no specific news.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded up 0.91% at $201.53. The stock’s 52-week range is $163.85 to $214.57. Volume was about half the daily average of around 1.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Monday.
Of the Dow stocks, 21 are on track to close higher Monday and 9 are set to close lower.