February 4, 2016: Markets opened mixed on Thursday following worse-than-expected reports on new claims for unemployment benefits, factory orders down nearly 3%, and a big jump in the number of job cuts that were announced in January. The dollar traded weaker again today aganst the euro but higher versus the yen. Crude oil helped prop up equities early in the day, but faded in the late morning and never recovered. WTI crude oil for March settled down 1.7% today, at $31.72. April gold traded up 1.4% to settle at $1,157.50 for the day, the yellow metal’s highest settlement price in since late October. Equities were headed for a slightly higher close shortly before the closing bell as the DJIA traded up 0.43% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.09%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.08%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) which traded up 4.06% at $65.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $89.62. Trading volume was approaching double the daily average of around 6.8 million. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news today.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 2.62% at $88.21. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $124.45. Trading volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.9 million. The defense technology company had no specific news today.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 2.33% at $156.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $147.01 to $218.77. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.6 million shares. The company had no specific news today.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) traded up 2.31% at $127.60. The stock’s 52-week range is $118.00 to $176.30. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 5.1 million shares traded. The high-tech services company had no specific news today either.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 19 are set to close higher today and 11 are on track to close lower.