(RTTNews) – Shares rose sharply in morning trading on Friday, regaining ground after the recent weakness on Wall Street. All major averages showed significant upside moves after ending the previous session, mixed narrowly.
Currently, the major averages are hovering near session highs. The Dow Jones rose 476.87 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,2207.17, the Nasdaq gained 384.78 points, or 3.4 percent, to 11,755.74, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 87.08 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,017.16.
The rally on Wall Street comes as traders are once again trying to look for bargains after the sharp drop shown by the markets over the past month.
The Dow and S&P 500 indices finished yesterday’s trading off session lows but still closed the day at their lowest closing levels in more than a year.
The S&P 500 also finished the previous session 18 percent lower than its record closing high in early January, near the 20 percent low widely used as a technical definition of a bear market.
While recent bargain-hunting efforts have been largely frustrated by concerns about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in an effort to combat rising inflation, traders seem to be ignoring those concerns this morning.
Markets also ignored a report from the University of Michigan showing consumer confidence deteriorated more than expected in May.
The report showed that the consumer confidence index fell to 59.1 in May from 65.2 in April. Economists had expected the index to fall to 64.0.
With the decline much larger than expected, the Consumer Confidence Index has fallen to its lowest level since reaching 55.8 in August of 2011.
A separate report released by the Labor Department showed that import prices did not change unexpectedly in the month of April.
The Labor Department said import prices stabilized in April, after rising by an upwardly revised 2.9 percent in March.
Economists had expected import prices to rise 0.6 percent compared to the 2.6 percent jump originally recorded from the previous month.
The report also showed that the annual rate of growth in import prices slowed to 12.0% in April from an upwardly revised 13.0% in March.
Semiconductor stocks extended the modest recovery seen in the previous session, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rising 4.3 percent. The index continues to regain strength after hitting its lowest intraday level in more than a year on Thursday.
Significant strength is also seen among energy stocks, which are moving sharply upward along with the price of crude oil.
As the price of crude oil for June delivery rose $3.32 to $109.45 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Services Index rose 4.3 percent, and the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca Oil Index rose 3.5 percent.
Brokerage stocks are also seeing strong intraday performance, leading to a 3.7 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index.
Computers, airlines, and networking stocks are also seeing significant strength, moving up along with most other major sectors.
In foreign trade, stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region rose sharply during Friday’s trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.7 percent.
The major European markets have also shown strong moves to the upside today. While Germany’s DAX jumped 1.9 percent, Britain’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 rose 2.3 percent.
In the bond market, Treasuries are losing ground after rallying sharply over the past few sessions. After that, the benchmark 10-year bond yield, which is moving opposite its price, rose 11.2 basis points at 2.929 percent.
The opinions and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Nasdaq, Inc.