WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - With traders expressing renewed optimism about the financial situation in Europe, stocks showed a significant turnaround over the course of the trading day on Friday after coming under pressure in early trading.
Most of the major sectors moved to the upside over the course of the trading day, with health insurance stocks showing a substantial rebound after falling sharply in the previous session. The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index jumped 4.8 percent and tumbling 5.9 percent on Thursday.
Molina Healthcare (MOH) posted a particularly strong gain, surging up by 26.4 percent after plunging 31 percent on Thursday after withdrawing its full year guidance.
Electronic storage stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, resulting in a 2.1 percent gain by the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index. Seagate Technology (STX) and STEC (STEC) turned in two of the sector's best performances.
Significant strength was also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent gain posted by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. Banking, healthcare provider, and airline stocks also posted strong gains on the day.
The major averages bounced off their early lows and climbed firmly into positive territory as the day progressed. The Dow rose 93.24 points or 0.8 percent to 12,554.20, the Nasdaq advanced 27.40 points or 1 percent to 2,858.42 and the S&P 500 climbed 10.67 points or 0.8 percent to 1,325.66.
The gains extended the upward move seen over the past few days and the major averages all posted strong gains for the week. The Dow jumped 3.6 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P surged up by 3 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
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