October 31, 2017: Markets opened slightly higher Tuesday with one cocked to the opening of the FOMC meeting. Economic news was scarce, but consumer confidence rose as did the Case-Shiller house price index. Consumer staples was the day’s best performing sector as industrials and healthcare lagged. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $54.38 a barrel, up 0.4% for the day and closing the month up 4.7%. December gold dropped 0.6% on the day to settle at $1,270.50 to end the month down about 1.1%. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.15% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.12%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.47%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Tuesday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded up 2.66% at $45.55. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $45.80 with a new high set this afternoon. Volume was about 50% higher than the daily average of around 24 million shares. The company got a boost from reports that Apple will replace some of its Qualcomm modem chips with Intel chips in the next iPhone.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) traded up 1.35% at $168.98. The stock’s 52-week range is $104.08 to $169.65 and the high was posted this afternoon. Volume was slightly above the daily average of around 28 million shares. The company reports quarterly results after the bell tomorrow and expectations are high following high pre-order volume for the iPhone X.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) traded up 1.28% at $115.85. The stock’s 52-week range is $102.55 to $120.89. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.1million shares. The company had no specific news.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded up 0.76% at $272.42. The stock’s 52-week range is $174.73 to $255.15. Volume was about 20% lower than the daily average of around 2.7 million. The bank had no specific news Tuesday.
Of the Dow stocks, 17 are on track to close higher Tuesday and 13 are set to close lower.