July 21, 2017: Markets opened lower Friday and never made the green side of the line although losses moderated from early lows. Energy was the worst performing sector following a report that OPEC production was headed higher in July and the U.S. rig count only dropped by one in the week. WTI crude oil for September delivery settled at $45.77 a barrel, down 2.5% for the day and 2.1% for the week. August gold added 0.8% on the day to settle at $1,254.90 to close the week up 2%. Equities were headed for a lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.23% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.15%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.17%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) which traded down 3.15% at $25.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $25.26 to $32.38, and the low was posted earlier this afternoon. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 39 million. The industrial giant reported decent quarterly earnings this morning, but the outlook presented in the conference call was less welcome.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded down 1.29% at $103.29 The stock’s 52-week range is $97.53 to $119.00. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of about 5.4 million shares. The energy giant had no specific news, but another week of falling oil prices is bad news for the oil patch.
Microsoft Corp. (NYSE: MSFT) traded down 1.26% at $73.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $55.61 to $74.30. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 25.7 million shares. Early enthusiasm over last night’s quarterly earnings results were tempered by the overall ennui in the market today.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded down 1.03% at $220.00 The stock’s 52-week range is $155.37 to $255.15. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 3.4 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news Friday.
Of the Dow stocks, 10 are on track to close higher Friday and 20 are set to close lower.