Home Depot, McDonald’s Buoy DJIA Monday

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November 13, 2017: Markets opened lower again Monday, but by mid-morning shares had crossed into positive territory and never looked back. Among the sectors, gains were strongest in utilities and consumer staples while industrials (read GE) and energy stocks languished. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $56.76 a barrel, up 2 pennies for the day December gold added 0.4% on the day to settle at $1,278.90. Equities were headed for a modestly higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.11% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.09%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.11%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) which traded up 1.36% at $166.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $122.92 to $167.94. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 4.5 million shares. The home improvement company is expected to report strong quarterly results before Tuesday’s opening bell.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded up 1.07% at $167.36. The stock’s 52-week range is $114.72 to $170.92. Volume was about a third below the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The fast-food gian had no specific news Monday.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 0.98% at $213.14. The stock’s 52-week range is $147.04 to $213.93. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 2.9 million shares. The company had no specific news.

The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded up 0.81% at $88.87. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.18 to $94.67. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.8 million. The company had no specific news Monday.

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