April 19, 2016: Markets opened slightly higher Tuesday on a day that was good for energy and basic materials stocks and not so good for tech and consumer discretionary stocks. Silver prices have been rising sharply, dragging the miners along with them, and crude prices have ignored the Doha failure and blithely moved up as well. Tech stocks were battered today following weak earnings reports from IBM and Netflix on Monday evening. WTI crude oil for May delivery settled at $41.08 a barrel, up about 3.3% for the day. The May crude oil contract expires tomorrow and the June contract becomes the front month. June gold added 1.6% to settle at $1,254.30 for the day. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the closing bell as the DJIA traded up 0.20% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.24%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.44%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded up 2.10% at $130.50 The stock’s 52-week range is $95.00 to $131.30, and the high was posted Tuesday. Trading volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.6million. The company reported solid first-quarter results on Tuesday.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 2.08% at $162.33. The stock’s 52-week range is $139.05 to $218.77. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 4.8 million shares. The financial firm reported so-so results Tuesday morning, but the announcement that it is going to enter the retail banking scrum has brightened investors’ eyes.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) traded up 1.68% at $65.79. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.11 to $75.72. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 4.3 million shares traded. The company had no specific news Tuesday.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 1.61% at $100.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $69.58 to $112.20. Trading volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 10.7 million. The energy giant had no specific news today, but rising crude oil prices were welcomed by investors.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 20 are set to close higher on Tuesday and 10 are on track to close lower.