Cisco, Goldman Sachs Prop Up DJIA on Wednesday

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August 30, 2017: Markets opened mixed Wednesday following a good report from ADP on new jobs and a stronger-than-expected second estimate of second-quarter GDP. Looking ahead, the primary economic data point left this week is Friday’s employment situation report. Among the sectors, only telecom and utilities traded in the red today. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $45.96 a barrel, down 1%, the lowest price in more than a month following a so-so report on inventories. December gold dropped 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,314.10. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.05% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.42%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.98%.

Dow stocks traded very 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 gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) which traded up 1.84% at $32.06. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.12 to $34.60. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 2.7million shares. The company had no specific news.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 1.35% at $222.93. The stock’s 52-week range is $157.77 to $255.15. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.1 million. The company said it will present its plan to turn around its bond-trading operations which have been a millstone for several quarters now.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 1.15% at $117.34. The stock’s 52-week range is $79.93 to $117.69, a new 52-week high set this afternoon. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company announced a U.S. Defense Department contract valued at $663 million over five years.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 1.10% at $73.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $55.61 to $74.42. Volume was about half the daily average of around 23.8 million shares. The company announced a deal with Amazon that would let the two companies voice-recognition programs talk to one another.

Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 15 are set to close lower.