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

After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Friday. With the continued advance on the day, the major averages have once again reached new record closing highs.

Currently, the major averages are off their best levels of the day but holding on to gains. The Dow is up 224.24 points or 0.6 percent at 36,348.47, the Nasdaq is up 89.12 points or 0.6 percent at 16,029.43 and the S&P 500 is up 26.14 points or 0.6 percent at 4,706.20.

The continued strength on Wall Street comes after the Labor Department released a report showing U.S. employment increased by more than expected in the month of October.

The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 531,000 jobs in October after climbing by an upwardly revised 312,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 425,000 jobs compared to the addition of 194,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

With employment increasing by more than expected, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in October from 4.8 percent in September, hitting its lowest level since March of 2020. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 4.7 percent.

The Labor Department described the job growth as widespread, with notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing.

The upbeat jobs data has added to optimism about the outlook for the economy despite lingering concerns about supply chain issues and rising inflation.

Stocks also continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has lifted the major averages to record highs on largely upbeat earnings news.

Signals the Federal Reserve is not in a hurry to raise interests also continues to generate buying interest even as the central bank begins scaling back its asset purchases.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks are extending seen in the previous session, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index jumping by 1.9 percent to a new record intraday high.

Considerable strength has also emerged among gold stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

The strength in the gold sector comes as the price of gold for December delivery is surging $17.10 to $1,810.60 after spiking $29.60 to $1,793.50 an ounce in the previous session.

Housing, telecom and energy stocks are seeing significant strength in mid-day trading, while biotechnology, healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks have moved notably lower.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved notably higher, extending the advance 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 6.4 basis points at 1.460 percent.

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