U.S. Stocks Extending Rebound From Lowest Levels In A Month

Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Friday, extending the rebound seen over the course of the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the Nasdaq showing a particularly strong advance.

Currently, the major averages remain firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 257.50 points or 0.8 percent at 34,278.95, the Nasdaq is up 234.32 points or 1.8 percent at 13,359.31 and the S&P 500 is up 47.25 points or 1.2 percent at 4,159.75.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders continue to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels following the sell-off seen earlier in the week.

Before the rebound on Thursday, the major averages ended Wednesday’s trading at their lowest levels in over a month.

A report from the Commerce Department showing retail sales were virtually unchanged in April after soaring by an upwardly revised 10.7 percent in March may also have eased recent concerns about inflation.

Economists had expected retail sales to jump by 1.0 percent compared to the 9.8 percent spike originally reported for the previous month.

“Retail sales cooled in April, with a flat reading, as the sugar rush from generous fiscal transfers, rapid vaccinations and warmer weather faded,” said Gregory Daco, Chief U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, “But don’t be fooled, stronger consumer spending activity lies ahead as US households have the means and the motivation to spend freely.”

A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed industrial production in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of April.

The report said industrial production climbed by 0.7 percent in April after soaring by an upwardly revised 2.4 percent in March.

Economists had expected industrial production to surge up by 1.0 percent compared to the 1.4 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, University of Michigan released a report showing consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly decreased in the month of May.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index dropped to 82.8 in May from 88.3 in April. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to 90.4.

Energy stocks are seeing considerable strength on the day amid a rebound by the price of crude oil. After plunging $2.26 to $63.82 a barrel on Thursday, crude for June delivery is jumping $1.09 to $64.91 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index has surged up by 3.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 2.3 percent.

Substantial strength is also visible among airline stocks, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 3.7 percent.

Computer hardware, semiconductor and software stocks are also seeing significant strength, contributing to the strong gain by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Most of the other major sectors have also moved to the upside on the day, with brokerage, gold and networking stocks seeing notable strength.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 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 2.8 basis points at 1.640 percent.

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