October 10, 2017: Markets opened higher again Tuesday but tech stocks weighed on the Nasdaq Composite by midday. There was no economic news of note today and the major earnings reports (from the big banks) aren’t due until Thursday morning. Utilities and consumer staples were the big gainers today while tech, materials, and consumer discretionary stocks lagged. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.92 a barrel, up about 2.7% on the day. December gold added 0.8% on the day to settle at $1,293.80. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.24% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.17%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.04%.
The Nasdaq Composite traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could show either a small gain or a small loss for any of the indexes.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded up 4.86% at $84.44. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.28 to $84.88 and the high was set this afternoon. Volume was more than 3 times the daily average of around 8.2 million shares. The company boosted guidance and revealed a $20 billion share buyback program at its investors’ day program today.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded up 1.02% at $45.88. The stock’s 52-week range is $39.88 to $46.98. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 9.6 million. The soft drink maker had no specific news.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 0.87% at $127.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $80.33 to $128.29, a new 52-week high posted today. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The company had no specific newsTuesday.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 0.84% at $118.70. The stock’s 52-week range is $99.61 to $119.82, and the high was posted this morning. Volume was more than 10% above the daily average of around 5 million shares. Rising crude oil prices lifted the stock Tuesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 17 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 13 are set to close lower.