JPMorgan, Walmart Tug DJIA in Different Directions Wednesday

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November 8, 2017: Markets opened lower Wednesday but equities marched through the break-even line by noon and some have even managed to stay there. There was no economic news today and even though shares of Snap took a beating after a weak earnings report last night, the firm isn’t big enough to move the market. Financials and energy were the day’s big losers with real estate and tech showing the best gains. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $56.81 a barrel, down 0.7% for the day after a surprise increase in U.S. inventories. December gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,283.70. Equities were headed for a narrowly higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.04% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.34%.

The DJIA traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could finish with either a small gain or a small loss.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) which traded down 1.31% at $97.46. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.24 to $102.42. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 11.6 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 0.93% at $137.52. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.36 to $140.44. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.4 million. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) which traded up 1.94% at $56.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $54.41 to $66.80. Volume was slightly above the daily average of around 9.1 million shares. The drug maker had no specific news.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 1.48% at $90.26. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.28 to $90.42 and the high was posted just after this afternoon. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 8.5 million shares. The retail gianthad no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 15 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 15 are set to close lower.