October 2, 2017: Markets opened higher Monday not so much on news as on expectations. Automakers report August sales Tuesday morning and low forecasts offer a chance for some higher stock prices if sales beat those lose estimates. On Friday the employment situation report is out and estimates are low here as well. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.58 a barrel,down 2.5% on the day. December gold dropped 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,275.80. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.63% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.20%.
The DJIA 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.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 2.61% at $39.07. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $39.09, a new high set this afternoon. Volume was about a third higher than the daily average of around 21.7 million. The chipmaker had no specific news.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 1.55% at $24.56. The stock’s 52-week range is $23.58 to $32.38. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 39 million shares. The company completed its $3.4 billion sale of water business to France’s Suez SA.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 1.40% at $240.51. The stock’s 52-week range is $160.25 to $255.15. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 2.8 million shares. The bank is reportedly considering trading Bitcoin.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.34% at $96.79. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.10 to $96.84, a new 52-week high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 12.3 million shares. The big bank had no specific news, but chances are low that it will follow Goldman into Bitcoin trading as long as Jamie Dimon sits at the head of the table.
Of the Dow stocks, 24 are on track to close higher Monday and 6 are set to close lower.