By RTT News,
May 23, 2014, 12:00:00 PM EDT
Strength On Wall Street Lifts S&P 500 Back Near 1,900 - U.S. Commentary
(RTTNews.com) - After moving modestly higher in early trading on Friday, stocks have seen some further upside over the course of the trading day. The gains on the day extend the upward move seen over the two previous sessions, with the S&P 500 climbing back toward 1,900.
Currently, the major averages are posting moderate gains, near their highs for the session. The Dow is up 54.23 points or 0.3 percent at 16,597.31, the Nasdaq is up 18.70 points or 0.5 percent at 4,173.04 and the S&P 500 is up 6.29 points or 0.3 percent at 1,898.78.
The continued strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to earnings news from Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ), with the tech giant jumping by 6 percent on the day.
After the close of trading on Thursday, HP reported second quarter earnings that were in line with estimates, although its revenues came in below expectations. The company also revealed plans to cut 16,000 more jobs.
Positive sentiment has also been generated by the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing that new home sales came in above economist estimates in April.
The Commerce Department said new home sales jumped 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 in April from the revised March rate of 407,000. Economists had expected new home sales to climb to a rate of 420,000.
The revised rate for March represents a substantial upward revision from the 384,000 originally reported, although it still represents a six-month low.
Nonetheless, trading activity has remained somewhat subdued, as some traders look to get a head start of the long Memorial Day weekend.
Among individual stocks, shares of Nordson ( NDSN ) have moved sharply higher on the day after the company reported better than expected second quarter earnings.
Video game retailer GameStop ( GME ) is also turning in a strong performance after reporting first quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates and providing upbeat guidance.
On the other hand, shares of Aeropostale ( ARO ) have fallen sharply after the apparel retailer forecast a wider than expected second quarter loss.
Airline stocks have shown a significant move to the upside over the course of the trading day, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.8 percent. With the gain, the index has reached a twelve-year intraday high.
United Continental (UAL) has helped to lead the airline sector higher, advancing by 5.1 percent, while Republic Airways ( RJET ) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA) are also posting strong gains.
Significant strength is also visible among housing stocks, which have reacted positively to the upbeat new home sales data. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index has risen by 1.5 percent and is on pace to end the session at its best closing level in well over a month.
Defense, commercial real estate, and railroad stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing only modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index crept up by 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved moderately higher following the pullback seen in the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.5 basis points at 2.53 percent.
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