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Merck, IBM Pace DJIA to Wednesday Gain

Paul Ausick

January 11, 2017: Markets opened slightly higher Wednesday as politics ruled the news. Energy was today's best performing sector even though the EIA inventory report was hugely bearish. Countering the big inventory builds were comments from Russia and Oman that they have already met their agreed January production cuts. The healthcare sector was the day's worst performer. WTI crude oil for February delivery settled at $52.25 a barrel, up about 2.8% on the day. February gold added 0.9% on the day to settle at $1,196.60. Equities were headed for a slightly higher close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.42% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded up 0.14%.

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The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Wednesday was Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) which traded up about 2.65% at $61.51. The stock's 52-week range is $47.97 to $65.46. Volume was nearly 3 times the daily average of around 10 million shares. The company was given a priority review by the FDA for its Keytruda cancer drug .

International Business Machines Inc. (IBM) traded up 1.20% at $167.51. The stock's 52-week range is $116.90 to $169.95. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.6 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) traded up 1.12% at $245.29. The stock's 52-week range is $138.20 to $246.20. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 4 million shares. The company had no specific news Wednesday.

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Intel Corp. (INTC) traded up 0.95% at $36.89. The stock's 52-week range is $27.68 to $38.36. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 20.5 million shares. The company's had no specific news.

Of the Dow 30 stocks, 22 are on track to close higher Wednesday and 8 are set to close lower.

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