March 10, 2017: Markets opened higher Friday following another month of strong non-farm payroll gains. Top performing sectors today were industrials, telecoms, and utilities. The weakest performer was real-estate. WTI crude oil for April delivery settled at $48.49 a barrel, down 1.6% on the day and down more than 9% for the week. April gold dropped 0.2% on the day to settle at $1,201.40. Equities were headed for a higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.20% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.28%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.35%.
The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Friday was General Electric Co. (GE) which traded up 2.14% at $30.30. The stock's 52-week range is $28.19 to $33.00. Shares got a boost on a report that CEO Jeff Immelt is being pushed to retire.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) traded up 1.11% at $169.87. The stock's 52-week range is $122.22 to $3170.00, a new high posted this afternoon. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.5 million shares. The company had no specific news Friday.
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) traded up 1.03% at $92.33. The stock's 52-week range is $69.04 to $99.46. Volume was about 30% above the daily average of around 4.9 million shares. The company has denied fraud allegations made earlier this week in a federal report.
The Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) traded up 0.74% at $91.01. The stock's 52-week range is $79.10 to $91.89. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 9.2 million shares. The consumer products company had no specific news.
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Of the Dow 30 stocks, 24 are on track to close higher Friday and 6 are set to close lower.