Stocks have moved modestly higher in early trading on Friday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory, although buying interest remains somewhat subdued.
The major averages are currently posting modest gains, not far off their highs for the young session. The Dow is up 52.52 points or 0.4 percent at 12,704.43, the Nasdaq is up 6.16 points or 0.2 percent at 2,842.49 and the S&P 500 is up 4.69 points or 0.4 percent at 1,333.79.
The early strength on Wall Street reflects continued optimism about the possibility of further stimulus from the world's central banks.
Adding to the optimism, the U.K. government and the Bank of England announced additional measures to boost the credit and financial markets.
The measures will offer banks billions of pounds in cheap credit in an effort to stimulate lending while also providing access to short-term money to deal with "exceptional market stresses."
Traders also continue to digest Thursday's report from Reuters indicating that central banks from major economies are prepared to take necessary steps to stabilize the financial markets after the Greek elections on Sunday.
Nonetheless, trading activity is somewhat subdued ahead of the Greek elections, which will have a significant impact on whether the debt-plagued nation sticks to the terms of its international bailout.
The markets have largely shrugged off disappointing reports on U.S. industrial production and New York manufacturing activity, with the weaker than expected data likely only reinforcing the optimism about further stimulus.
Railroad stocks have shown a strong move to the upside in early trading, driving the Dow Jones Railroads Index up by 1.1 percent. Software, steel, and oil service stocks are also seeing notable strength, although most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Friday, although Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed only just above the unchanged line. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 2.3 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.4 percent.
The major European markets have also shown notable moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 1.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength on the day after ending the previous session slightly lower. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.5 basis points at 1.586 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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