Goldman, JPMorgan Drag DJIA Lower Wednesday

November 16, 2016: Markets opened lower Wednesday but only the Nasdaq Composite has managed to boost itself into positive territory. The tech sector was the day’s leading gainer, but was more than offset in the DJIA and S&P 500 indexes by financials and utilities which led the losers. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $45.57 a barrel, down 0.5% for the day. December gold dropped less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,223.90. Equities were headed for a mixed close before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.32% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.32%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) which traded down 2.81% at $77.13. The stock’s 52-week range is $52.50 to $80.44. Volume was roughly equal to the daily average of around 16 million shares. The big bank had no specific news.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded down 2.32% at $206.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $211.77. Trading volume was about 35% above the daily average of around 3 million. Investors could have been taking some profits in financial stocks that have run up sharply since last week’s elections.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 1.74% at $62.54. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.97to $65.46. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 6.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday, but pharmaceutical stocks, like financials, may have seen some profit-taking.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.27% at $85.71. The stock’s 52-week range is $71.55 to $95.55. Volume was about half the daily average of around 10.7 million shares. The EIA report on oil inventories showed a bigger-than-expected build and a rather modest production decline.

Of the Dow 30 stocks 12 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 18 are set to close lower.