While buying interest has waned from earlier in the trading session, stocks are moving mostly higher in late morning trading on Friday. The major averages have pulled back well off their highs for the session but are currently all in positive territory.
The strength in the markets comes as traders react positively to a report from the Labor Department showing a smaller than expected decrease in employment. The report provides further evidence of a stabilization in the struggling labor market.
Banking stocks are turning in some of the best performances, benefiting from a positive reaction to the release of the government's stress test results. Energy stocks are also moving sharply higher amid an increase by the price of oil.
While real estate and health insurance stocks are also posting strong gains, significant weakness has emerged in the semiconductor sector. Some weakness is also visible among airline stocks, with the increase by the price of oil generating some selling pressure.
In recent trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has rejoined the Dow and the S&P 500 above the unchanged line. The Nasdaq is currently posting a modest gain, up 1.94 at 1,718.18, while the Dow is up 79.25 at 8,489.10 and the S&P 500 is up 9.53 at 916.92.
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