October 19, 2017: Markets opened Lower Thursday but the indexes have been creeping toward the break-even line steadily and must may make it by the closing bell. A report on low volumes of the iPhone 8 has hurt Apple and the tech sector which, along with consumer staples, led the losses. Utilities and telecom may have posted large enough gains to carry equities to a much better close than the opening. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $51.29 a barrel, down 1.4% on the day, following a mixed report on oil inventories. December gold added 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,290.00. Equities were headed for a narrowly lower close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.02% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.03%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.38%.
Equity indexes traded very near the break-even line just minutes before the closing bell. The closing tally could show either a small gain or a small loss for any of the indexes.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which traded down 2.51% at $155.75. The stock’s 52-week range is $104.08 to $164.94. Volume was about 15% higher than the daily average of around 27 million shares. Reports of slow sales of the iPhone 8 hit the stock hard this morning.
The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) traded down 0.58% at $91.54. The stock’s 52-week range is $81.18 to $94.67. Volume was a little higher than the daily average of around 6.7 million. The company had no specific news and is scheduled to report earnings before markets open Friday morning.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) traded up 2.38% at $23.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $22.83 to $32.38. Volume was about 50% higher than the daily average of around 43 million shares. The company also reports third-quarter results Friday.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Thursday was The Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) which traded up 2.21% at $132.89. The stock’s 52-week range is $103.45 to $133.10 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about 50% above the daily average of around 22 million shares. The company beat earnings estimates this morning.
Of the Dow stocks, 20 are on track to close higher Thursday and 10 are set to close lower.