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U.S. Stocks Remain Mostly Positive In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet oct04 15oct21 lt

After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Friday. The major averages are extending the rally seen on Thursday, with the Dow reaching its best intraday level in over a month.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but remain positive. The Dow is up 272.36 points or 0.8 percent at 35,184.92, the Nasdaq is up 37.23 points or 0.3 percent at 14,860.66 and the S&P 500 is up 23.63 points or 0.5 percent at 4,461.89.

Another batch of upbeat earnings news has contributed to the continued strength on Wall Street, with financial giant Goldman Sachs (GS) posting a notable gain after reporting much better than expected third quarter results.

Shares of Alcoa (AA) have also moved sharply higher after the aluminum producer reported third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Buying interest has also been generated in reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected increase in U.S. retail sales in the month of September.

The report said retail sales climbed by 0.7 percent in September after jumping by an upwardly revised 0.9 percent in August.

The continued sales growth came as a surprise to economists, who had expected retail sales to edge down by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales advanced by 0.8 percent in September after spiking by an upwardly revised 2.0 percent in August.

Economists had expected ex-auto sales to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.8 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed import prices in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of September.

The Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.4 percent in September after dipping by 0.3 percent in August. Economists had expected import prices to climb by 0.6 percent.

The report also showed export prices inched up by 0.1 percent in September after rising by 0.4 percent in the previous month. Export prices were also expected to increase by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the University of Michigan unexpectedly showing a modest deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of October.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index slipped to 71.4 in October from 72.8 in September. The dip surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 73.1.

Sector News

Oil service stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading, benefiting from a notable increase by the price of crude oil.

With crude for November delivery climbing $0.88 to $82.19 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is jumping by 2.4 percent to a three-month intraday high.

Significant strength is also visible among transportation stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent gain being posted by the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The average has reached its best intraday level in four months.

Brokerage stocks also continue to turn in a strong performance on the day, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index climbing by 1.5 percent.

Along with Goldman Sachs, Charles Schwab (SCHW) has helped lead the sector higher after reporting better than expected third quarter results.

Retail, natural gas and banking stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while gold stocks have moved lower along with the price of the precious metal.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 1.8 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after trending higher over the past few sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 5.5 basis points at 1.574 percent.

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