Walmart, Johnson & Johnson Lift DJIA Wednesday

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October 11, 2017: Markets opened mixed Wednesday and trading was choppy during the first couple of hours before settling on an up-and-to-the-right trend. The leading sectors were real estate and tech while telecom and financial stocks lagged. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $51.30 a barrel, up about 0.8% on the day. December gold dropped 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,288.90. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.13% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.18%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which traded up 2.26% at $86.03. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.28 to $86.29, a second consecutive high set this afternoon. Volume was nearly 3 times the daily average of around 8.3 million shares. The company boosted guidance and revealed a $20 billion share buyback program at its investors’ day program Tuesday. http://247wallst.com/retail/2017/10/10/walmart-sees-online-sales-up-40-total-sales-to-top-500-billion/

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) traded up 2.15% at $136.78. The stock’s 52-week range is $109.32 to $137.08. Volume was about 60% above the daily average of around 5.1 million. Jefferies raised the stock’s rating from Hold to Buy and lifted the price target from $145 to $157 this morning.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 1.35% at $162.75. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.33 to $163.20, a new 52-week high posted today. Volume was slightly above the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) traded up 1.05% at $108.44. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.17 to $108.59, and the high was posted this morning. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 6.8 million shares. The credit card issuer had no specific news Wednesday.

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