After moving modestly higher in early trading on Friday, stocks have seen continued strength over the course of the morning. The major averages have remained firmly in positive territory, adding to the gains posted in the previous session.
The strength on Wall Street stems from optimism about the likelihood of further stimulus from the world's central banks, with the U.K. government and the Bank of England already announcing additional measures to boost the credit and financial markets.
Traders have largely shrugged off disappointing reports on U.S. industrial production, consumer sentiment, and New York manufacturing activity, with the weaker than expected data only reinforcing the optimism about further stimulus.
Nonetheless, trading activity is somewhat subdued ahead of this weekend's elections in Greece, which will have a significant impact on whether the debt-plagued nation sticks to the terms of its international bailout.
Software stocks are seeing considerable strength in late morning trading, with the Dow Jones Software Index up by 1.7 percent. Nuance Communications (NUAN) and Oracle (ORCL) are turning in two of the sector's best performances following analyst upgrades.
Notable strength is also visible among health insurance stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent gain being posted by the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index. Chemical, steel, biotech, and railroad stocks are also posting strong gains.
The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 65.24 points or 0.4 percent at 12,717.15, the Nasdaq is up 19.33 points or 0.7 percent at 2,855.66 and the S&P 500 is up 8.01 points or 0.6 percent at 1,337.11.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com