September 2, 2016: Markets opened higher Friday following a weaker-than-expected gain in non-farm payrolls and an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.9%. Ahead of the holiday weekend only the healthcare sector traded in the red and then by just a few ticks. The utilities and energy sectors were the day’s big gainers. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $44.44 a barrel, up 3% for the day but down 6.7% for the week. December gold closed up 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,326.70, and up 0.1% for the week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up by 0.39% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.40%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.40%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded up 0.93% at $107.72. The stock’s 52-week range is $89.47 to $123.82. Volume was about a third less than the daily average of around 32 million shares. Ireland has said it will appeal the European Commission ruling demanding that Apple pay $14.5 billion in back taxes.
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) traded up 0.85% at $131.01. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.10 to $150.59. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 3.7 million shares. The aircraft manufacturer’s sales of military fighter planes to Qatar and Kuwait are reportedly close to being completed.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) traded up 0.79% at $81.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.12 to $82.14, and the high was posted this morning. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 8.7 million shares. The credit card issuer had no specific news Friday.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 0.71% at $100.93. The stock’s 52-week range is $74.31 to $107.58. Trading volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 6.5 million. The energy supermajor had no specific news, but the day’s 3% run-up in crude prices always makes traders happy.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 28 are on track to close higher Friday and just 2 are set to close lower.