U.S. stocks accelerated jumping Friday, with major stock indices poised to finish the week on a positive note before a long holiday weekend, as upbeat April new home sales pointed to a bright housing market.
In midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.24 points, or 0.32 percent, to 16,595.32. The broader S&P 500 increased 6.38 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,898.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 18.92 points, or 0.46 percent, to 4,173.26.
Following a two-day winning streak, Wall Street opened marginally higher before adding gains on better-than-expected new home sales.
U.S. sales of new single-family houses in April stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, 6.4 percent above the revised March rate of 407,000, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The reading easily surpassed market consensus.
Despite the rally, trading volume is expected to remain low, as investors are reluctant to make a big move ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend and are awaiting more stimulus that could support the market, with the blue-chip Dow and the broader S&P 500 inching closer to its record highs set on May 13.
When coming to an end, the latest corporate earnings season had fared better than analysts had expected previously, which had helped lift major indices to record highs. So far, 97 percent of the S&P 500 companies, or the 487 companies, have reported first- quarter earnings, among which 68.2 percent had beaten market expectations, while 52.8 percent had topped analyst expectations on revenue side.
On corporate earnings side, Hewlett-Packard Co shares rose 6.23 percent to trade at 33.76 dollars apiece in midday, a day after the company posted results for its fiscal second quarter. The personal computer maker posted adjusted earnings of 88 cents per share, in line with market expectations, while its quarterly sales were slightly below estimates.