Stocks have moved moderately higher in morning trading on Friday, extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions. With the continued advance on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.
Currently, the major averages off their best levels but holding on to gains. The Dow is up 134.31 points or 0.5 percent at 27,222.39, the Nasdaq is up 15.35 points or 0.2 percent at 8,211.39 and the S&P 500 is up 4.42 points or 0.2 percent at 3,004.33.
The markets continue to benefit from renewed optimism about the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates as soon as its next meeting later this month.
Congressional testimony from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicating crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have continued to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook helped spark the resurgence in optimism about a rate cut.
Powell’s remarks have triggered an upward trend on Wall Street that lifted the Dow above the 27,000 level for the first time ever.
Trading activity has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders brace for the unofficial start of earnings season next week.
Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), IBM (IBM), Netflix (NFLX), Microsoft (MSFT), and American Express (AXP) are among the slew of companies due to report their quarterly results.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing U.S. producer prices unexpectedly edged higher in the month of June.
The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in June, matching the uptick seen in May. Economists had expected producer prices to come in unchanged.
Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices climbed by 0.3 percent in June after rising by