Stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day on Friday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory, with the Dow reaching its best intraday level in well over two-months.
Earlier in the session, the markets benefited from a positive reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing that the pace of U.S. economic growth slowed by less than anticipated in the second quarter.
The report said GDP increased by 1.5 percent in the second quarter compared to an upwardly revised 2.0 increase in the first quarter. Economists had been expecting GDP to increase by about 1.2 percent.
While the report points to continued economic growth, analysts noted that the slowdown still leaves the door open for further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Further buying interest was recently generated by a report from Bloomberg indicating that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will meet with the president of Germany's Bundesbank Jens Weidmann to discuss new measures to address the ongoing debt crisis.
Significant strength remains visible in a variety of sectors, with electronic storage stocks posting particularly strong gains. The NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index has surged up by 4.5 percent, reaching its best intraday level in over two months.
Steel, internet, trucking, and oil service stocks are also posting substantial gains, moving higher along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages have pulled back off their new highs in the past few minutes but continue to post strong gains. The Dow is up 207.63 points or 1.6 percent at 13,095.56, the Nasdaq is up 59.36 points or 2.1 percent at 2,952.61 and the S&P 500 is up 25.77 points or 1.9 percent at 1,385.79.
by RTT Staff Writer
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