U.S. Stocks Show Substantial Turnaround After Seeing Early Weakness

After moving mostly lower early in the session, stocks have shown a substantial turnaround over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages have climbed well off their early lows and firmly into positive territory.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, holding on to gains. The Nasdaq is up 160.22 points or 1.2 percent at 13,380.06, the S&P 500 is up 38.50 points or 0.9 percent at 4,296.69 and the Dow is up 242.80 points or 0.7 percent at 33,362.37.

The early weakness on Wall Street came following the release of a Labor Department report showing employment in the U.S. surged by much more than expected in the month of September.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment shot up by 336,000 jobs in September compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 170,000 jobs.

The closely watched Labor Department report also showed notable upward revisions to job growth in the two previous months.

Employment in August and July jumped by 236,000 jobs and 227,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a net upward revision of 119,000 jobs.

The report triggered a spike by treasury yields amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates, with yields once again soaring to their highest levels in over sixteen years.

Treasury yields have pulled back well off their highs since, however, contributing to the subsequent rebound seen on Wall Street.

“As the day moves forward we expect many in the markets to question the veracity of this report simply because the number came out 4x above the ADP report yesterday,” Alex McGrath, Chief Investment Officer for NorthEnd Private Wealth.

He added, “That aside this move in yields will continue to serve as a gale force headwind to equities through the end of the year should they remain elevated at these levels.”

Sector News

Natural gas stocks have shown a strong move to the upside over the course of the session, driving the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index up by 2.3 percent.

The strength among natural gas stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the commodity, with natural gas for November delivery spiking $0.132 or 4.2 percent to $3.298 per million BTUs.

Substantial strength has also emerged among software stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Gold stocks are also seeing considerable strength amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, resulting in a 2.0 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

Networking, semiconductor and oil stocks have also moved notably higher, while some weakness remains visible among telecom stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged by 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed well off their early lows but remain in the red. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 6.9 basis points at 4.786 percent after reaching a high of 4.887 percent.

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