November 16, 2015: Markets opened lower on Monday, still shaken by the bombings in Paris, and waiting to find out how the attacks would affect equity markets. The answer appears to have been “not much,” as stock prices climbed steadily throughout the day as the dollar strengthened. WTI crude for December delivery added 2.5% today to settle at $41.74 per barrel. Gold rose 0.3% to settle at $1,083.60. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the closing bell as the DJIA traded up 1.20% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.32%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.03%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) which traded up 3.99% at $91.10. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.58 to $118.91. Volume was about half the daily average of about 11.5 million shares traded. The energy producer benefitted from a weekend story on how big oil companies could and would protect dividends, as well as a solid boost in crude prices today.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded up 3.32% at $80.69. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.55 to $97.20. Trading volume was about 40% below the daily average of nearly 16 million. The comments on Chevron apply equally to rival Exxon.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 2.69% at $57.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.30 to $90.97. Trading volume was about 20% below the daily average of about 12.3 million. The company reports third-quarter results on Wednesday and analysts are mildly optimistic on the company’s performance.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 2.02% at $113.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $94.84 to $126.21. Trading volume was about 65% lower than the daily average of about 4.5 million. The company had no specific news today.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 13 are set to close higher today and 17 are on track to close lower.