Merck, DuPont Lead Dow Lower on Tuesday

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August 8, 2017: Markets opened lower Tuesday and wobbled near the break-even line for most of the trading session. No significant economic data was released today, but some is on the way over the next couple of days. Among the sectors, consumer staples and healthcare were the laggards while tech and consumer discretionary stocks were the best performers. WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $49.17 a barrel, down 0.5%for the day. December gold dropped 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,262.60. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.15%for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.29%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.31%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Tuesday was Merck & Co. Inc.) which traded down 0.95% at $62.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $58.29 to $66.80. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of about 8.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) traded down 0.95% at $81.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.02 to $86.36. Volume was about half the daily average of around 2.2 million. The industrial firm had no specific news.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NSYE: VZ) traded down 0.70% at $48.52. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.80 to $54.83. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 15 million shares. The company had no specific news Tuesday, but the company’s lower stock price pays a fatter dividend.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded down 0.51% at $132.18. The stock’s 52-week range is $109.32 to $137.08. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 5.7 million shares. The company had no news Tuesday.

Of the Dow stocks, 10 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 20 are set to close lower.