WASHINGTON (Alliance News) – Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Friday following the sell-off seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 bouncing off their lowest closing levels in a month.
Currently, the major averages are hovering in positive territory. The Dow is up 48.61 points or 0.2% at 21,892.62, the Nasdaq is up 35.83 points or 0.6% at 6,252.71 and the S&P 500 is up 7.77 points or 0.3% at 2,445.98.
The strength on Wall Street is partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions.
Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Labor Department showing a modest uptick in consumer prices in the month of July.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1% in July after coming in unchanged in June. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.
Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still crept up by 0.1% in July, matching the increases seen in the three previous months. Core prices had also been expected to climb by 0.2%.
The smaller than expected increase in consumer prices has led to optimism that the Federal Reserve will not be in a hurry to raise interest rates.
Buying interest is somewhat subdued, however, as the ever-escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korea continues to raise geopolitical concerns.
Trump suggested in remarks on Thursday that his comments threatening North Korea with “fire and fury” may not have been tough enough.
“I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world,” Trump said.
North Korea responded with a statement by its official KCNA news agency claiming Trump is “driving” the Korean peninsula to the “brink of a nuclear war.”
Trump continued the back-and-forth with a post on Twitter this morning indicating that the US is prepared to take military action against North Korea.
“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump tweeted.
Computer hardware stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 1.5%. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in six months.
Trucking, biotechnology, and railroad stocks are also seeing notable strength, while steel stocks have moved sharply lower.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw continued weakness during trading on Friday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2%, while South Korea’s Kospi Index slumped by 1.7%. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has inched up by 0.1%, the UK’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.9% and 1%, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing initial strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 2.215%.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX