There You Go! Stocks Turn Up By Middle Of Day

After falling this morning following the release of the Q3 consumer spending report, stocks have begun to rally. Let’s see if we can keep that going through the end of the day.

AP: Wall Street turned higher in cautious trading Friday as investors looked to extend the week’s big gains, even after a report that showed worried consumers are cutting back on their spending.

The Commerce Department said personal spending fell by 0.3 per cent last month, as expected, the biggest decline since June 2004. Combined with flat readings in both July and August, it led to the worst quarterly performance in 28 years.

But Wall Street’s reaction to the data was far from frantic. Given this week’s readings on flagging consumer confidence and shrinking gross domestic product, investors have largely discounted the fact that Americans are fearful about the economy and their shrinking investment portfolios…

Before committing to a direction, the market is going to want to put the presidential election next week behind it and focus on the October employment report due next Friday — which should provide some insight into how long and how severe the economic downturn is going to be.

The market is “settling into a little bit of a holding pattern” ahead of the election and jobs report, said Craig Peckham, market strategist at Jefferies & Co. “The fear level has clearly subsided, but there’s still a pervasive tone of unease.”

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 102.66, or 1.12 per cent, to 9,283.35, after declining in earlier trading.

Broader stock indicators also turned higher. The S&P 500 index rose 9.18, or 0.96 per cent, to 963.27, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 13.96, or 0.82 per cent, to 1,712.48.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 9.88, or 1.92 per cent, to 524.06.

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