UnitedHealth, Exxon Mobil Drag DJIA Down Wednesday

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January 18, 2017: Markets opened mixed Wednesday following the latest report on the consumer price index, which rose to 2.1%, and gave investors and trader pause to consider the Fed’s next move. The financial sector performed best among the S&P’s 11 sectors while energy and telecoms dragged the composite index down. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $51.08 a barrel, down about 2.7% on the day. February gold dropped less than 0.1% on the day to settle at $1,212.10. Equities were headed for a mixed close close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.12% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.23%.

Stocks traded very near the break even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could differ from these results.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) which traded down 2.07% at $157.34. The stock’s 52-week range is $108.83 to $164.00. Volume was nearly 30% more than the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company continues to ride the wave of Tuesday’s so-so earnings report.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down about 1.28% at $86.25. The stock’s 52-week range is $71.55 to $95.55. Volume was about 35% below the daily average of around 10.9 million shares. The company had no specific news, but falling crude oil prices are never good for Exxon.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) traded down 0.94% at $52.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $43.79 to $56.95. Volume was about a third below the daily average of around 14.6 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) traded down 0.76% at $53.24. The stock’s 52-week range is $49.01 to $65.44. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of around 9.3 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 16 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 14 are set to close lower.

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