August 28, 2017: Markets opened higher for the third straight day Monday, but gains were offset in short order on both the S&P 500 and the DJIA. There was no major economic news Monday and no earnings of note. Two large biotech mergers kept the Nasdaq Composite rocking higher. Healthcare and tech posted the largest sector gains will financials and tech stocks lagged. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $46.57 a barrel, down 2.7% due to the refinery shutdowns along the Gulf Coast of Texas. December gold added 1.3% on the day to settle at $1,315.30, its highest settlement since September. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.11% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.20%.
Stocks traded near the break-even 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 The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded down 2.50% at $123.31. The stock’s 52-week range is $103.45 to $130.37. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 1.4 million shares. Major disasters like tropical storm Harvey are not good news for insurance company profits.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded down 1.08% at $220.06. The stock’s 52-week range is $157.77 to $255.15. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.2 million. The company had no specific news Monday.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) traded down 0.85% at $142.52. The stock’s 52-week range is $139.13 to $182.79. Volume was about 40% below to the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded down 0.77% at $78.03. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.28 to $81.99. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 9.2 million shares. The company had no specific news, but Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods was completed today and prices on some items promptly fell, threatening an attack on Walmart’s grocery business.
Of the Dow stocks, 14 are on track to close higher Monday and 16 are set to close lower.