September 20, 2017: Markets opened narrowly mixed Wednesday as traders awaited the FOMC’s afternoon announcement. Though short on details, the Fed will begin normalizing its balance sheet next month. Consumer staples and tech stocks weighed on markets today while financials and energy stocks posted the largest gains. WTI crude oil for October delivery settled at $50.41 a barrel, up 1.9% on the day following the EIA inventory report. December gold added 0.4% to settle at $1,316.40. Equities were headed for a narrowly mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.03% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.08%.
DJIA and S&P 500 stocks traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could finish with either a small gain or a small loss for either or both of the indexes.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded down 1.95% at $155.62. The stock’s 52-week range is $104.08 to $164.9. Volume was about 45% above the daily average of around 26.5 million shares. The company’s recently introduced Apple Watch Series 3 faces technical issues connecting wirelessly to the internet.
3M Company (NYSE: MMM) traded down 1.73% at $209.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $163.85 to $214.65. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 1.7 million. J.P. Morgan cut the stock’s rating to Underweight.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday is McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) which traded up 1.49% at $159.77. The stock’s 52-week range is $110.33 to $161.72. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 3.2 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) traded up 1.44% at $35.96. The stock’s 52-week range is $29.83 to $36.21, a new high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 17million shares. The company filed a lawsuit against rival J&J today, related to Pfizer’s arthritis drug.
Of the Dow stocks, 20 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 10 are set to close lower.