Stocks moved sharply higher at the start of trading on Friday, as traders reacted positively to the latest news out of Europe. The major averages showed strong moves to the upside after ending the previous session in the red.
The early rally came after European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced that European leaders have agreed to spend 120 billion euros on a package of measures to stimulate growth.
Van Rompuy said the leaders also agreed to permit the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism to directly recapitalize ailing banks after a single European banking regulator is commissioned.
Resource stocks are seeing substantial strength amid renewed optimism about the outlook for global demand. Steel stocks are posting particularly strong gains, resulting in a 3.7 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.
Significant strength has also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.8 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. Computer hardware, semiconductor, and financial stocks are also posting notable gains amid broad based buying interest.
The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session in the past few minutes but continue to post substantial gains. The Dow is up 175.36 points or 1.4 percent at 12,777.62, the Nasdaq is up 49.81 points or 1.8 percent at 2,899.30 and the S&P 500 is up 20.44 points or 1.5 percent at 1,349.48.
by RTT Staff Writer
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