December 1, 2015: Markets opened higher on again on Tuesday and, unlike yesterday, held on to the gains for the most of the day. Equities took their cue from markets in Asia and Europe, both broadly higher today. WTI crude for January delivery traded up about 0.5% today to settle at $41.85 per barrel. Gold for February delivery traded down up about 0.2% to settle at $1,063.50 for the day. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the closing bell as the DJIA traded up 0.85% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.97%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.85%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded up 3.05% at $116.15. The stock’s 52-week range is $95.00 to $126.21. Trading volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 4.5 million. The insurance company’s CEO said today that the company made a bad decision by offering Obamacare coverage too early and added that the company may still withdraw.
Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) traded up 2.77% at $54.48. The stock’s 52-week range is $45.69 to $63.62. Trading volume was about 30% below the daily average of about 12.2 million. An analyst at Barclays had positive words to say about Merck and a few other major pharmaceutical companies.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 2.46% at $33.58. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.47 to $36.46. Trading volume was about 10% above the daily average of about 33.4 million. The company had no specific news today, but investors continue to like the proposed merger and tax inversion with Allergan.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 1.52% at $147.66. The stock’s 52-week range is $115.14 to $158.83. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.6 million shares traded. The aerospace giant had no specific news today.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 26 are set to close higher today and 4 are on track to close lower.