Stocks moved sharply higher at the start of trading on Friday, as traders reacted positively to the latest U.S. jobs report. The major averages showed strong moves back to the upside after closing lower in each of the four previous sessions.
The early strength on Wall Street came on the heels of the release of a report from the Labor Department showing stronger than expected U.S. job growth in the month of July.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment increased by 163,000 jobs in July following a downwardly revised increase of 64,000 jobs in June. Economists had expected employment to increase by about 100,000 jobs.
Most of the major sectors have moved notably higher in early trading, with steel stocks posting particularly strong gains. Reflecting the strength in the steel sector, the NYSE Arca Steel Index has surged up by 3.4 percent.
Electronic storage stocks have also moved sharply higher, driving the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index up by 2.9 percent. Healthcare provider, defense, biotech and oil service stocks are also posting notable gains.
The major averages have not seen much follow-through on their initial upward move but remain firmly positive. The Dow is up 174.68 points or 1.4 percent at 13,053.56, the Nasdaq is up 48.26 points or 1.7 percent at 2,958.03 and the S&P 500 is up 21.01 points or 1.5 percent at 1,386.01.
by RTT Staff Writer
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