August 13, 2015: Markets opened slightly higher on Thursday following reassurances from the People’s Bank of China that it is nearly finished tinkering with the country’s currency and that the bank is not considering a 10% devaluation. The energy sector kept a lid on gains, though, as natural gas dropped nearly 5%, WTI crude dropped more than 2.5%, and Brent crude dropped almost 1.5%. Gold also settle down about 0.8%. Shortly before the closing bell we were headed for a mixed close with the DJIA traded up 0.10% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.13%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO)) which traded up 3.23% at $28.80. The stock’s 52-week range is $22.49 to $30.31. About 53 million shares traded hands today, more than double the daily average of about 24 million. The networking giant reported solid earnings after the market closed last night..
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.88% at $145.11. The stock’s 52-week range is $116.32 to $158.83. Trading volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.2 million. The company had no specific news today.
The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) traded higher by 1.35%% at $106.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.83 to $110.49. Trading volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 1.8 million. The company had no specific news today.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 1.23% at $58.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.49 to $63.62. Trading volume was was nearly equal to the daily average of around 9 million. The company’s stock was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform at BMO Capital Markets and the drug giant’s price target was increased from $65 to $70.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 12 are set to close higher today and 18 are on track to close lower.