October 20, 2016: Markets opened lower Thursday and have traded right around the break-even line all day. Wednesday’s Beige Book didn’t have much impact and scant economic data has left corporate earnings as the focal point for traders. Crude prices were down again this morning, probably on profit-taking. Healthcare and financials are the only sectors trading in the green late in the day. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.43 a barrel, down 2.3% on its expiration day. December gold slipped 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,267.50. Equities were headed for a lower close before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.18% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.13%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.07%. Last minute movements could change which side of the line equities close on.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded down 5.86% at $109.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $101.23 to $119.32. Volume of 3.36 million was more than double the daily average of around 1.4 million shares. The insurance company posted weak third-quarter earnings this morning..
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 2.64% at $49.05. The stock’s 52-week range is $43.79 to $56.95. Trading volume was about 60% above the daily average of around 12.1 million. The company reported third-quarter results this morning and a drop in revenues and subscribers did shares in.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 0.85% at $96.49. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $89.87. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of around 4.3 million shares. The heavy equipment maker had no specific news Thursday.
The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded down 0.75% at $84.90. The stock’s 52-week range is $73.61 to $90.33. Volume was about 60% below the daily average of around 21 million shares. The consumer products giant had no specific news.
Of the 30 Dow index stocks 10 are on track to close higher Thursday and 20 are set to close lower.