Stocks have been rising since the open after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. will extend Huawei's license to buy U.S. goods, which expires on August 19, by another 90 days. Meanwhile, adding to the market's risk-on attitude were reports that Germany is preparing fiscal stimulus measures.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: Ahead of this week's Jackson Hole Symposium, President Trump kept up his pressure on the Federal Reserve and its head, Jerome Powell. Trump tweeted: "Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to 'will' the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world...The Fed Rate, over a fairly short period of time, should be reduced by at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well. If that happened, our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced-good for everyone!"
TOP NEWS: Shares of PG&E (PCG) have dropped over 27% after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in San Francisco allowed the utility to hold on to sole rights to construct a chapter 11 exit plan, but also allowed the Tubbs fire to be tried in jury trial in California state court. Following the news, Citi analyst Praful Mehta double downgraded the stock to Sell saying that the Tubbs fire is "too big" and a jury trial is "too risky."
Shares of Estee Lauder (EL) are up more than 10% after the make-up maker reported better than expected quarterly results and fiscal year guidance.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was DryShips (DRYS), which rose 35% after announcing SPII Holdings will acquire the outstanding shares of the company that it does not already own for $5.25 per share in cash, without interest.
Also higher was Weibo (WB) which gained 13% after reproting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Palo Alto Networks (PANW), which slid another 1% following news, out late in the session Friday, that its head of sales is leaving.
Also lower was Amgen (AMGN), which was fractionally lower after Mizuho analyst Salim Syed downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy on valuation.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 263.94, or 1.02%, to 26,149.95, the Nasdaq was up 117.41, or 1.49%, to 8,013.40, and the S&P 500 was up 35.24, or 1.22%, to 2,923.92.