November 10, 2017: Markets opened lower Friday and never really gained much traction throughout the day. Disagreements among Republicans — to say nothing of opposition from Democrats — to the Trump administration’s tax bill has stalled buying for the moment. Energy and healthcare were the laggards Friday, with consumer staples posting the best gain. WTI crude oil for December delivery settled at $56.74 a barrel, down 0.8% for the day but up about 2% for the week. December gold dropped 1% on the day to settle at $1,274.20. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded down 0.16% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.01%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Friday was Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) which traded down 1.57% at $45.58. The stock’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $47.30. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 24.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) traded down 1.26% at $55.50. The stock’s 52-week range is $54.41 to $66.80. Volume was about 20% above the daily average of around 9.4 million shares. The drug maker on Thursday received approval for its Prevymis drug.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.26% at $82.93. The stock’s 52-week range is $76.05 to $93.22. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 9.4 million. The company had no specific news Friday, but a lower price for crude and an increase in the U.S. rig count are not conducive to enthusiasm among oil company investors.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) traded down 0.99% at $165.35. The stock’s 52-week range is $114.17 to $170.92. Volume was about equal to the daily average of around 3.3 million shares. The fast-food behemoth had another poor trading day Friday.
Of the Dow stocks, 9 are on track to close higher Friday and 21 are set to close lower.