December 2, 2016: Markets opened mixed Friday as the blue chips that have been rising steadily showed some weakness. Among S&P’s 11 sectors, real-estate posted the largest gain and financials posted the largest loss. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in November and the economy added 178,000 jobs. These were better than expected results, but the jobs growth was pretty anemic. WTI crude oil for January delivery settled at $51.68 a barrel, up 1.2% on the day and up 12% for the week. February gold added 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,177.80, with the most- active contract down 0.1% for the week. Equities were headed for a mixed close before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.09% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.09%. Stocks were trading very near the break even line and the closing bell might see some shifts in which side of the line the indexes close on.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded down 1.48% at $223.27. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $227.16, a new 52-week high posted Thursday. Volume was about 25% above the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news again Friday, but some profit taking probably factored into the share price drop.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) traded down 1.03% at $95.25. The stock’s 52-week range is $56.36 to $97.39. Volume was about 20% lower than the daily average of around 5.2 million shares. The industrial giant said late Thursday that analysts were being too optimistic with their fourth-quarter earnings projections.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded down 0.92% at $71.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.27 to $73.18. Trading volume was about half the daily average of around 5 million. The credit card issuer had no specific news Friday.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) traded down 0.71% at $73.10. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.71 to $75.72. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 2.9 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 14 are on track to close higher Friday and 16 are set to close lower.