October 12, 2017: Markets opened lower Thursday, bounced higher at midday, and then sank again. Unimpressive earnings from two of the country’s largest banks didn’t help and a move higher on the producer price index was attributed to higher energy prices due to hurricanes in the Gulf. Utilities and real estate were the big sector winners today, while telecom and financials lagged. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.600 a barrel, down about 1.4% on the day. December gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,296.50. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.17% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.19%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.14%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) which traded down 1.63% at $96.95. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $116.10. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 7.9 million shares. Guggenheim downgraded the stock this morning and cut the price target from $122 to $105.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 1.29% at $48.23. The stock’s 52-week range is $42.80 to $54.83. Volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 14 million. The company had no specific news, but a report from rival AT&T on subscriber losses infected Verizon as well. Disney probably also felt some effects.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded down 1.22% at $192.88. The stock’s 52-week range is $133.03 to $200.76. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The health insurer had no specific news Wednesday.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GS) traded down 0.98% at $240.02. The stock’s 52-week range is $165.51 to $255.15. Volume was roughly equal to the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The bank said that it will acquire Genesis Capital, a firm that lends to house-flippers.
Of the Dow stocks, 13 are on track to close higher Thursday and 17 are set to close lower.