U.S. stocks were near session highs midday as the major indices look to close the week out on a high note. Stocks are on pace for their fourth week of gains in the new year after suffering from a rocky first six weeks of 2016.
All three major indices are having strong performances today, with the S&P 500 climbing 1.4% and the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average both rising 1.3%.
Unlike in the previous session, oil prices are holding up their end of the bargain Friday, with industry benchmark Brent crude rising $0.29 to $40.34 per barrel while West Texas crude is up $0.74 to $38.58 per barrel.
Crude prices seem to have finally bottomed after hitting a low of $26 per barrel in February.
Ulta Salon (ULTA) is one of the strongest performers today after the beauty products retailer beat analysts' bottom-line expectations for the January quarter, and provided earnings guidance for the current quarter between $1.25 and $1.30 per share. Analysts are expecting the company to earn $1.22 per share on average.
Sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports (HIBB) was showing volatility midday Friday after the company topped analysts' fourth-quarter bottom-line estimates, but also provided weak full-year guidance. While revenue for the quarter was in line, four-quarter comparable store sales fell 0.6%.
Sirius XM (SIRI) shares were rising on heavy volume Friday after majority stake holder Liberty Media (LMCA) reported its fourth-quarter results. Sirius added 634,000 subscribers in the quarter. The increase brought its total subscriber count to nearly 29.6 million, an 8.4% year-over-year increase.
Oil stocks were recovering from yesterday's decline as crude prices rally. Whiting Petroleum (WLL) was up 8% on heavy volume, while Marathon Oil (MRO) was climbing 6.6%, and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) advancing 2.2%.
Fast food restaurant Bojangles' (BOJA) was spiking 20% after the fried chicken chain's fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations. The company reported EPS of $0.22 on revenue of $128.8 million. For the current year, Bojangles expects EPS to range between $0.86 and $0.90.