October 20, 2017: Markets opened higher Friday following a report on sales of existing homes that showed a gain for the first time in first month. Earnings from Dow components General Electric and Procter & Gamble were less than awe-inspiring, but did not dampen bullish sentiment. WTI crude oil for November delivery settled at $51.47 a barrel, up 0.4% on the day and roughly flat for the week. December gold dropped 0.7% on the day to settle at $1,280.50 and down 1.9% for the week. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.64% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.45%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.33%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which traded up 2.03% at $264.29. The stock’s 52-week range is $134.25 to $264.34 and the high was new today. Volume was about 40% lower than the daily average of around 3.7 million shares. The company has reportedly reached agreement to sell nearly $20 billion in passenger jets and may be on the brink of bringing back the 767.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 2.03% at $244.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $172.51 to $255.15. Volume was 10% below the daily average of around 2.8 million. The bank had no specific news Friday.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) traded up 1.98% at $207.28. The stock’s 52-week range is $136.22 to $208.21, with a new high today. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 2.8 million shares. The health insurer had no specific news.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) traded up 1.39% at $99.47. The stock’s 52-week range is $67.64 to $99.89 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 11.8 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Of the Dow stocks, 24 are on track to close higher Friday and 6 are set to close lower.