With traders digesting the disappointing monthly jobs report, stocks continue to show a lack of direction in late morning trading on Friday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing weaker than expected job growth in the month of August.
While the data points to continued sluggishness in the labor market, the report has also increased optimism about further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Despite the lackluster performance by the broader markets, steel stocks are posting substantial gains on the day. The NYSE Arca Steel Index has surged up by 5.1 percent, with the strength in the sector coming on news that China approved more than $150 billion in infrastructure projects.
Gold stocks have also moved sharply higher, benefiting from a notable increase by the price of the precious metal. With gold for December delivery jumping $35.60 to $1,741.20 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is up by 3.1 percent.
Oil service, airline, and financial stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while semiconductor stocks have moved to the downside after Intel (INTC) cut its third quarter revenue guidance.
Currently, the major averages are posting modest gains, adding to the substantial gains posted in the previous session. The Dow is up 7.93 points or 0.1 percent at 13,299.93, the Nasdaq is up 1.75 points or 0.1 percent at 3,137.56 and the S&P 500 is up 4.32 points or 0.3 percent at 1,436.44.
by RTT Staff Writer
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