Intel, Apple, Microsoft Buoy DJIA Friday

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October 27, 2017: Markets opened mixed Friday as the Dow stocks stumbled on less than stellar earnings reports from both Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Tech was the day’s leading sector while consumer staples lagged. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $53.90 a barrel, up 2.4% for its highest close since February. December gold added 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,271.80 and down about 0.6% for the week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.09% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.77%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 2.23%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 8.44% at $44.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $45.00 with the high set this afternoon. Volume was more than three times the daily average of around 23 million shares. The company posted its best quarterly earnings in more than three years.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) traded up 7.44% at $84.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.28 to $86.19 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was more than three times the daily average of around 19 million shares. Another tech company that posted big earnings Thursday night.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 3.55% at $163.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $104.08 to $164.94. Volume was about 40% above the daily average of around 28 million shares. The company’s iPhone X was available to pre-order just after midnight this morning and by all accounts the highest priced iPhone attracted a horde of buyers.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 1.63% at $212.57. The stock’s 52-week range is $136.22 to $212.77, another new high set today. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 2.8 million. The company had no specific news Friday.

Of the Dow stocks, 13 are on track to close higher Friday and 17 are set to close lower.