January 28, 2016: Markets opened higher on Thursday, apparently bolstered by the outstanding earnings report from social media giant Facebook. The euphoria did not last until noon, but equities did rise in the afternoon session led by energy and utilities stocks. WTI crude oil for March settled up about 2.9% today, at $33.22. April gold, the most active contract, traded down slightly to settle at $1,116.10 for the day. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the closing bell as the DJIA traded up 0.80% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.61%, and the Nasdaq Composite also traded up 0.88%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 4.93% at $61.16. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $89.62. Volume rose to nearly double the daily average of around 6.6 million shares. The heavy machinery maker reported better-than-expected results this morning and also offered adequate guidance.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 3.06% at $85.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.58 to $112.93. Trading volume was about equal to the daily average of around 11.5 million. The oil company benefitted from rising oil prices today, and investors appear to be looking forward to Friday morning’s earnings report.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 2.32% at $157.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $151.12 to $218.77. Volume was about 10% higher than the daily average of around 3.5 million shares traded. The investment bank had no specific news today.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded up 2.84% at $61.28 The stock’s 52-week range is $45.35 to $68.19. Trading volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 9.6 million. The sports apparel and gear company had no specific news today, but reversed a 2.5% share price drop yesterday.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 23 are set to close higher today and 7 are on track to close lower.