August 20, 2014: Markets opened higher on Thursday following a better-than-expected report on new claims for unemployment benefits and fourth consecutive gain in existing home sales. Shortly before closing today the DJIA traded up 0.44% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.34% and set a new all-time high of 1,94.76, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.12%.
The Dow 30 stock posting the biggest percentage gain today was Intel Corp. (INTC) which traded up 1.81% at $35.12 in a 52-week range of $21.90 to $35.19, a new 52-week high. The company probably got a bit of a boost from the jump of nearly 12% in H-P’s PC sales that the PC and printer maker reported last night. Intel’s volume was about even with the daily average of around 34 million shares.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) traded higher by 1.54% at $58.53 today. The stock’s 52-week range is $50.06 to $61.48. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 13 million shares traded. The announced settlement between Bank of America and the Justice Department cast a 1% halo around the financial sector today..
The Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV) traded up 1.01% at $94.04. The stock’s 52-week range is $79.12 to $96.18. Share volume was about 50% below the daily average of around 1.9 million shares traded. The company’s senior debt ratings and Prime-1 commercial paper ratings were affirmed today by Moody’s.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) traded up 0.87% at $75.61 in a 52-week range of $71.51 to $81.37. Volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 5.7 million shares traded. The retail giant had no news today, but better employment statistics are good news for retail stores generally..
Of the Dow 30 stocks 26 are set to close higher today and just 4 are poised to close lower.