Stocks Mostly Positive Amid Continued Pullback By Bond Yields - U.S. Commentary

wallstreet4 103112 23Feb18

After an early move to the upside, stocks remain mostly positive in morning trading on Friday. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory after ending the previous session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The major averages have pulled back off their highs of the session but are holding on to gains. The Dow is up 134.37 points or 0.5 percent at 25,096.85, the Nasdaq is up 41.81 points or 0.6 percent at 7,251.89 and the S&P 500 is up 16.51 points or 0.6 percent at 2,720.47.

A continued drop by treasury yields has generated buying interest on Wall Street, with the ten-year yield pulling back further off the four-year closing high set on Wednesday.

Trading activity is somewhat subdued, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data is keeping some traders on the sidelines.

A slew of economic data is scheduled to be released next week, including reports on new home sales, durable goods orders, consumer confidence, personal income and spending, and manufacturing activity.

Congressional testimony by new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also likely to attract next Wednesday amid lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

Oil service stocks are seeing considerable strength in morning trading, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index climbing by 1.7 percent. The strength in the sector comes amid a continued increase by the price of crude oil.

After jumping $1.09 to $62.77 a barrel in the previous session, crude oil for April delivery is rising $0.43 to $63.20 a barrel.

Utilities, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks are also seeing significant strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is just above the unchanged line and the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the rebound seen over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.6 basis points at 2.871 percent.

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