Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Friday following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session. After ending Thursday’s trading on opposite sides of the unchanged, the major averages have all moved to the upside.
Currently, the major averages are just off their highs of the session. The Dow is up 170.23 points or 0.5 percent at 35,064.35, the Nasdaq is up 149.51 points or 1 percent at 14,691.30 and the S&P 500 is up 28.33 points or 0.6 percent at 4,434.13.
With the upward move on the day, stocks are regaining ground following the sharp pullback seen during trading on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The major averages fell to their lowest levels in almost a month amid concerns about the outlook for monetary policy following the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
The Fed minutes indicated most officials were in favor of beginning to scale back the central bank’s asset purchase program later this year.
However, there was some disagreement about the timing of tapering asset purchases, and analysts have pointed out that some disappointing economic data has been released since the July meeting.
Uncertainty about the outlook for monetary policy may lead traders to keep a close eye on upcoming economic data ahead of the Fed’s next meeting in September.
Technology stocks have helped to lead the way higher in today’s trading, as reflected by the notable advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Within the tech sector, software stocks have shown a particularly strong upward move, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index spiking by 2.2 percent to a record intraday high.
Considerable strength is also visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.
Telecom, computer hardware and brokerage stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while steel stocks are extending a recent downward trend.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside after seeing weakness earlier day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.248 percent.
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