September 7, 2017: Markets opened narrowly higher Thursday following a worse-than-expected report on new jobless claims although the upward move was likely due to tropical storm Harvey’s invasion of Texas. Yields on U.S. Treasuries have dropped as demand rises. Financial sector stocks are leading losers today as investors worry about claims from the Harvey and Irma. Healthcare stocks were the best performers. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $49.09 a barrel, down 0.1% on the day after a mixed report from the EIA on petroleum inventories. Gold added 0.8% to settle at $1,350.30. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.17% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.04%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.06%.
The S&P and Nasdaq indexes 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 either or both of the indexes.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) which traded down 4.75% at $96.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $116.10. Volume was more than three times the daily average of around 7.4 million shares. Company CEO Robert Iger gave some disappointing guidance at a media conference today.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded down 3.87% at $23.95. The stock’s 52-week range is $23.83 to $32.38, and the low was posted this afternoon. Volume was approaching double the daily average of around 38 million shares. The company sold its remaining stake in Penske Truck Leasing, but a Morgan Stanley analyst reiterated an Underweight rating and a price target of $22 to cause most of the damage.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded down 2.05% at $88.26. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.11 to $95.22. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 13 million. The company had no specific news Thursday.
The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded down 1.85% at $114.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $103.45 to $130.37. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 1.5 million shares. The insurance company had no specific news.
Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Thursday and 15 are set to close lower.