Upbeat economic data and stocks on the rise: The Dow is rising 20 points and the S&P 500 is up 18 points to 2,817.62.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.5% on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 2,936.69 points to 27,904.19.
Meanwhile, the SACHE index is up 4.2%, and the Russell 2000 is up 7.4%.
On Friday, the Fed’s key interest rate is expected to be 0.25% and will begin to rise on June 1.
The US economy is up 6.5%, or a 0.1% gain, from the week prior, and the unemployment figure is down to 8.3%.
“Ahead of this week’s release of the second-quarter GDP data, I think we’re upbeat,” Mark Bardsley, senior investment strategist at Wells Fargo Securities, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“The manufacturing sector, the mining sector, are up.”
“The U.S. manufacturing sector is doing better than expected, and that has been reflected in the higher sales, higher production, and higher sales,” he continued.
“But, I do think that there are some lingering challenges to the manufacturing sector.
I think that it’s still not as robust as the consumer confidence that we have been seeing.”
Bardsley added that there’s some concern about a weaker U.K. economy, and added that the Dow Jones index is currently at its highest point in more than a year.
“I think there are still concerns about the UK,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wall Street is celebrating the latest data.
In fact, the Nasdaq was up about 20% on Friday, while the S &PE index rose a full 4%.
Banks are celebrating the second quarter results, as well.
Bardley pointed to a positive quarterly growth rate of 5.4%, which was the best in nearly a year, and was also well above the prior year’s 4.4% quarter-over-quarter growth rate.
As for stocks, Wall St. is seeing a big boost in activity.
Overall, stocks are up 18.4 percent, or $3.7 trillion, on Friday.
On a year-over, year basis, the U.s. stock market has grown more than 7% year-to-date.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday found that more Americans are now expecting the economy to improve in the coming months.
At least some of the enthusiasm for the economy comes from the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus.
According to a Reuters/Rasmussen poll, a majority of Americans are confident the Fed will do what it can to boost the economy.
And a Bloomberg poll of more than 4,000 adults showed that just as Americans are hopeful the Fed can stimulate the economy, more are worried about the economic outlook than the Fed.
But as Wall St., Wall Street stocks, and Wall Street stock futures are rising, the outlook for the broader economy is still very much up in the air.
If the economy is to improve, it’ll be hard to do so without the support of a strong Federal Reserve.
That support, of course, will depend on how well the economy performs.