July 1, 2016: Markets opened higher down slightly Friday before climbing to mid-morning highs only to trail lower for much of the day, before heading higher about an hour before the closing bell. Friday’s economic data was mixed at best. Leading sectors for the session were consumer discretionary and telecom. Financials were the deadweight. WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $48.99 a barrel, up 1.4% for the day and 2.8% for the week. Natural gas futures closed at $2.99 per million BTUs, their highest level in more than a year. August gold added 1.4% on the day to settle at $1,339.00, and closed higher for the fifth straight week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.16% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.22%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.44%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) which traded up 1.44% at $129.54. The stock’s 52-week range is $92.17 to $137.82. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 4.8 million shares. The home improvement giant had no specific news Friday.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 1.02% at $35.57. The stock’s 52-week range is $24.87 to $36.46. Trading volume was about half the daily average of around 37 million. The company had no specific news.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 0.79% at $76.41. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $84.89. Trading volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.3 million shares. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news either.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded up 0.73% at $56.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $38.06 to $56.29. The high was posted Friday afternoon. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 13.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the 30 Dow stocks 28 are set to close higher Thursday and just 2 are on track to close lower.