News Column

Stocks Holding On To Gains In Mid-Day Trading - US Commentary

June 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - After moving moderately higher in early trading on Friday, stocks have continued to perform well over the course of the session. The markets are extending yesterday's upward move, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching new record highs.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering in positive territory. The Dow is up 65.26 points or 0.4% at 16,901.37, the Nasdaq is up 20.63 points or 0.5% at 4,316.86 and the S&P 500 is up 7.34 points or 0.4% at 1,947.80.

The strength on Wall Street largely reflects a positive reaction to a report from the Labor Department showing that employment rose roughly in line with economist estimates in the month of May.

The report said non-farm payroll employment increased by 217,000 jobs in May after jumping by a revised 282,000 jobs in April. Economists had been expecting employment to rise by about 215,000 jobs.

Teunis Brosens, Senior Economist at ING Bank, noted that the near-consensus job growth was "a bit of a relief, as earlier indicators this week on balance pointed towards some downward risk."

Additionally, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate came in unchanged compared to the previous month at 6.3%. The unemployment rate had been expected to tick up to 6.4%.

Buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders question whether the economic outlook supports much further upside for the markets.

Among individual stocks, shares of Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL) have moved sharply higher on the day after the communications equipment maker reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Angie's List (ANGI) is also turning in a strong performance after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the business review website operator to Buy from Neutral.

On the other hand, shares of Diamond Foods (DMND) have come under pressure after the packaged food company reported third quarter results that were below analyst estimates.

Sector News

Airline stocks continue to see significant strength in mid-day trading, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.7%. The gain extends a recent upward move by the index, which has risen to a new twelve-year intraday high.

Brazil's Gol Linhas (GOL) and SkyWest (SKYW) are turning in two of the airline sector's best performances, advancing by 3.5% and 3%, respectively.

Considerable strength has also emerged among brokerage stocks, as reflected by the 1.3% gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index. The index is on pace to end the session at its best closing level in two months.

Housing, steel, and electronic storage stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while most of the other major sectors have shown more modest moves to the upside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Hong Kong'sHang Seng Index dropped by 0.7%, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.4%. Japan'sNikkei 225 Index closed nearly flat.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index climbed by 0.4%, the UK'sFTSE 100 Index and and the French CAC 40 Index both advanced by 0.7%.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction on the day and are currently nearly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.581%.

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Source: Alliance News

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