WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Extending the rally seen over the two previous sessions, stocks have moved sharply higher in morning trading on Friday. With the continued upward move, the major averages have turned positive for the week, more than offsetting the steep drop seen on Monday and Tuesday.
The major averages have seen further upside in recent trading, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow is up 395.86 points or 1.5 percent at 26,892.53, the Nasdaq is up 147.91 points or 1.9 percent at 8,098.69 and the S&P 500 is up 46.20 points or 1.6 percent at 2,984.33.
The markets continue to benefit from optimism about ongoing U.S.-China trade talks, with upbeat comments from President Donald Trump adding to the positive sentiment.
'Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting. Warmer feelings than in recent past, more like the Old Days,' Trump said in a post on Twitter. 'I will be meeting with the Vice Premier today. All would like to see something significant happen!'
Trump noted in a subsequent tweet that a potential trade deal with China would not have to go through the 'very long and politically complex Congressional Approval Process.'
The tweets from Trump come after he told reporters shortly after the close of trading on Thursday that the talks with China are going 'really well.'
'So, we just completed a negotiation with China. We're doing very well. We're having another one tomorrow. I'm meeting with the Vice Premier over at the White House,' Trump said. 'And I think it's going really well, I will say. I think it's going really well.'
While Trump is almost always upbeat about talks with China, his remarks were backed up by a White House official, who told Reuters the talks had gone very well, 'probably better than expected.'
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce official briefed on the talks also told reporters the two sides could at least reach a partial deal that includes the U.S. calling off a planned increase in tariffs on Chinese goods.
Traders are likely to remain focused on any reports of progress in the talks or a lack thereof, potentially leading to some volatility on Wall Street.
Steel stocks have moved sharply higher amid optimism an end to the U.S.-China trade war would lead to a spike in demand, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index soaring by 3.8 percent.
Substantial strength has also emerged among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.8 percent spike by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.
The rally by oil service stocks comes amid an increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for November delivery climbing $0.51 to $54.06 a barrel.
Banking, semiconductor, and chemical stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while gold stocks are bucking the uptrend amid another steep drop by the price of the precious metal.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index soared by 2.3 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has spiked by 2.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent.
In the bond markets, treasuries are extending the sharp pullback seen over the two previous sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 9.5 basis points at 1.753 percent.
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