August 31, 2017: Markets opened higher Thursday comments Wednesday by President Trump and encouraging reports on jobless claims and consumer spending. The telecom sector is the sole laggard today, with healthcare and materials providing the biggest gains. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $47.23 a barrel, up 2.8%, but closed the month down 6%. December gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,322.20 and up 4% for the month. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.39% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.70%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 1.05%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was E.I. du Pont de Nemours Inc. (NYSE: DD) which traded up 2.18% at $85.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.02 to $86.36. Volume was twice the daily average of around 2 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 1.63% at $33.99. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.83 to $34.99. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 17.8 million. The company had no specific news.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 1.62% at $24.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $24.15 to $32.38. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 37.7 million shares. The company is reportedly moving quickly to reduce employee totals.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 1.45% at $198.72. The stock’s 52-week range is $132.39 to $198.79, and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 2.7 million shares. The company had no specific news Thursday.
Of the Dow stocks, 22 are on track to close higher Thursday and 8 are set to close lower.