RTTNews - After moving sharply higher at the open, stocks continue to see significant strength in late morning trading on Friday. The major averages are posting substantial gains, with the Dow and the S&P 500 more than offsetting the losses posted in the two previous sessions.

The initial strength in the markets came after a report from the Labor Department showed a smaller than expected decrease in jobs in the month of July. The report also showed that the unemployment rate edged down to 9.4 percent, the first decrease since April of 2008.

Railroad stocks are posting particularly strong gains, resulting in a 5.2 percent gain by the Dow Jones Railroads Index. CSX Corp. (CSX) is helping to lead the sector higher after Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the stock to Outperform from Neutral.

Most of the other major sectors are also showing strong upward moves, reflecting broad based buying interest. Significant strength is visible among banking, housing, commercial real estate, and retail stocks.

On the other hand, gold stocks are bucking the uptrend amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal. With gold for December delivery currently down $4 at $958.90 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is down 1.5 percent.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is currently up 141.17 at 9,397.43, the Nasdaq is up 31.06 at 2,004.22 and the S&P 500 is up 16.67 at 1,1013.75.

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