By RTT News, October 25, 2013, 11:53:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Friday after showing a notable move to the upside earlier in the session. While buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, the markets are still extending their recent upward trend.
The major averages have pulled back well off their best levels of the day but are holding on to modest gains. The Dow is up 29.54 points or 0.2 percent at 15,538.75, the Nasdaq is up 10.44 points or 0.3 percent at 3,939.40 and the S&P 500 is up 3.43 points or 0.2 percent at 1,755.50.
The strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to the latest earnings reports, which have drawn increased attention since the end of the government shutdown.
Microsoft ( MSFT ) and Amazon ( AMZN ) are posting standout gains after reporting their quarterly results, jumping by 5.9 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Microsoft reported first quarter adjusted earnings of $0.63 per share, ahead of the $0.54 per share consensus estimate. Revenues rose 16 percent to $18.53 billion, exceeding the $17.79 billion consensus estimate.
Amazon reported a third quarter net loss of $0.09 per share on net sales of $17.09 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year. The loss was in line, while the revenues exceeded estimates.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that durable goods orders rose by much more than expected, although the growth was largely due to a jump in orders for transportation equipment.
The report said durable goods orders jumped 3.7 percent in September after inching up by a revised 0.2 percent in August.
Economists had expected orders to increase by about 2.5 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
However, excluding the surge in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged down by 0.1 percent in September compared to a 0.4 percent drop in August.
A separate report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that consumer sentiment deteriorated by more than previously estimated in October, reflecting concerns about the impact of the government shutdown.
Software stocks are seeing notable strength following the upbeat earnings news from Microsoft, although most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 2.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both inched up by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly higher after ending the previous session in the red. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.7 basis points at 2.505.
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