U.S. Stocks See Further Upside As Price Growth Slows
Stocks have moved sharply higher in morning trading on Friday, extending the strong upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages have all moved to the upside on the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq once again leading the way higher.
In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Nasdaq is up 288.88 points or 2.5 percent at 12,029.53, the S&P 500 is up 64.92 points or 1.6 percent at 4,122.76 and the Dow is up 234.98 points or 0.7 percent at 32,872.17.
The continued strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a Commerce Department report showing a slowdown in the pace of core consumer price growth in the month of April.
A reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve showed the annual rate of core consumer price growth slowed to 4.9 percent in April from 5.2 percent in March.
The data has contributed to optimism that the Fed will slow the pace of monetary policy tightening in the second half of the year.
The inflation reading was included in a report showing personal income in the U.S. increased by slightly less than expected in the month of April.
The report showed personal income rose by 0.4 percent in April after climbing by 0.5 percent in March. Economists had been expecting another 0.5 percent increase.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said personal spending advanced by 0.9 percent in April after surging by an upwardly revised 1.4 percent in March.
Personal spending was expected to increase by 0.7 percent compared to the 1.1 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.
Traders have largely shrugged off a separate report from the University of Michigan showing consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by even more than previously estimated in the month of May.
The report showed the consumer sentiment index for May was downwardly revised to 58.4 from the preliminary reading of 59.1. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.
The consumer sentiment index is even further below the April reading of 65.2, slumping to its lowest level since hitting 55.8 in August of 2011.
Computer hardware stocks are extending the rebound seen over the two previous sessions, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 3.1 percent.
Dell Technologies (DELL) has helped lead the sector higher after reporting fiscal first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.
Substantial strength has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.8 percent surge by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.
Commercial real estate stocks are also turning in a strong performance on the day, resulting in a 2.2 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index.
Biotechnology, networking and airline stocks are also seeing considerable 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 climbed by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 2.9 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.4 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved higher over the course of the morning. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.8 basis points at 2.718 percent.
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