McDonald’s, Exxon Mobil Prop Up DJIA on Thursday

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September 28, 2017: Markets opened lower Thursday now that the Republican tax bill is out and some analysts are worried it won’t pass without changes. The impact of recent storms could have weighed on GDP and the likelihood that the Fed will raise rates in December were also factors. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $51.56 a barrel, down 1.1% on the day. December gold added 90 cents to settle at $1,288.70. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.17% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.07%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.12%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 2.46% at $157.83. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.33 to $161.72. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.4 million. The fast-food giant received a ratings boost from Neutral to Buy and price target of $183 this morning from Longbow Research.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 1.14% at $82.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $76.05 to $93.22. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 10.3 million shares. The energy giant had no specific news.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 0.96% at $196.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $133.03 to $200.76. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 2.6 million shares. The health insurance and benefits management company had no specific news Thursday.

The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) traded up 0.85% at $162.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $119.20 to $162.40, a new 52-week high set this afternoon. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 5.2 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.

Of the Dow stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Thursday and 14 are set to close lower.