RTTNews - Stocks showed a strong upward move at the start of trading on Friday, with the major averages seeing some further upside after closing higher in the three previous sessions. The initial strength is partly due to an increase in commodities prices.

Benefiting from the higher commodities prices, resource stocks are turning in some of the best performances in early trading. Significant strength has also emerged among chemical, housing, and banking stocks.

Oil prices have shown a notable upward move in morning trading, moving back to the upside after giving back some ground in the previous session. Optimism about an economic recovery in the second half has helped to push oil prices higher in recent sessions.

In its first day as the front-month contract, crude for October delivery is currently up $1.19 at $74.10 a barrel after ending the previous session down $0.92 at $72.91 a barrel. Earlier in the session, the price of oil rose as high as $74.48 a barrel.

In other commodities trading, the price of gold has moved sharply higher after seeing some weakness in the previous session. Gold for December delivery is currently up $12.80 at $954.50 an ounce after ending Thursday's trading down $3.10 at $941.70 an ounce.

Economic data may attract some attention later this morning, with the National Association of Realtors due to release its report on existing home sales in the month of July. Economists expect existing home sales to edge up to a 5.0 million unit rate.

Traders are also likely to keep an eye on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is due to speak about the recent financial crisis at the Kansas City Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

While the major averages have not seen much follow-through on their initial upward moves, they have remained firmly positive. The Dow is currently up 52.22 at 9,402.27, the Nasdaq is up 11.88 at 2,001.10 and the S&P 500 is up 7.18 at 1,014.55.

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