September 21, 2016: Markets opened higher again Wednesday as following an unprecedented announcement from the Bank of Japan that it would institute an interest-rate control plan for its 10-year notes, keeping that rate at around 0%, a little better than the current negative 0.1% rate. The FOMC maintained the Fed policy rate at between 0.25% and 0.50% to no one’s particular surprise. There were other developments that we have discussed elsewhere. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $45.34 a barrel, up 2.9% for the day. December gold closed up 1% on the day to settle at $1,331.40. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up by 0.95% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 1.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.10%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 2.17% at $130.56. The stock’s 52-week range is $120.10 to $150.59. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 3.6 million shares. The company said this afternoon that it has received federal government approval to sell airplanes to Iran. Competitor Airbus received similar approval earlier this morning.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded up 2.02% at $83.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $84.73. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The industrial giant said that it plans to invest $1 billion in Africa, but the gain is more likely due to the strong crude oil price move and the lack of a hike in the Fed’s interest rate.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 1.97% at $99.62. The stock’s 52-week range is $75.10 to $107.58. Trading volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.5 million. The supermajor oil and gas producer got a boost today from the U.S. EIA’s inventory report.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded up 1.82% at $102.06. The stock’s 52-week range is $83.39 to $109.83. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The company lowered its Pratt & Whitney division’s delivery targets for the year, but continues to back its long-term earnings estimates.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 27 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 3 are set to close lower.