Verizon, American Express Lead DJIA Higher Tuesday

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September 19, 2017: Markets opened higher again Tuesday on very little economic news. Existing home sales came in above expectations but lower than last month and the better news was the new permits rose sharply. Among the sectors telecom and financials performed best while real estate and healthcare lagged. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $49.48 a barrel, down 0.9% on the day. December gold dropped 20 cents to settle at $1,310.60. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.19% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.11%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) which traded up 2.5% at $49.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.80 to $54.83. Volume was about 80% above the daily average of around 14million shares. The company had no specific news, but reported talks of a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile could have boosted the shares..

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded up 1.45% at $89.14. The stock’s 52-week range is $59.50 to $89.23, a new high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.3 million. The company had no specific news.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.23% at $94.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.11 to $95.22. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 13 million shares. The company had no specific news.

The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded up 1.18% at $94.25. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.18 to $94.45, a new high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 6 million shares. The company fired back today at activist investor Nelson Peltz ahead of next month’s shareholders’ meeting.

Of the Dow stocks, 19 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 11 are set to close lower.