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The September stock surge continues

The September stock surge continues
Friday, September 13, 2013 - 8:31am

Investors were upbeat Friday morning as they anticipated the next moves from the Federal Reserve and waited for more details on Twitter's IPO plans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all rose slightly in early trading. It's been a strong week -- and for that matter, month -- for stocks.

Twitter grabbed plenty of headlines when the social networking site revealed after the closing bell Thursday that it had issued a confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a planned IPO.

Investors were awaiting more details on the offering. Twitter has not yet disclosed information about sales, profits and other key financial information. It is also not clear if the company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.

But Twitter's IPO filing comes at a time when social media stocks are red hot. Facebook and LinkedIn are near all-time highs. Groupon has more than doubled in 2013 while Yelp has more than tripled

Investors will also be keeping tabs on a batch of economic releases Friday. Before the opening bell, the Census Bureau reported that although monthly retail sales were up modestly in August, they were lower than expected. Auto sales rose nearly 1% in August, but consumers cut back at other retailers, including clothing and sporting good stores.

Despite the weaker sales, many investors still think that the Fed will decide to begin scaling back its quantitative easing program at a meeting next week.

The Fed's bond buying drive has helped push stocks to record highs, and investors have worried that any sort of "tapering" will deflate the markets.

"The current expectation is that we'll see a small notional tapering at next week's Fed meeting," said Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro.

Traders also continued to watch for developments on the Syrian conflict. The threat of U.S.-led military strikes against the Middle Eastern country has receded as Secretary of State John Kerry continues to pursue diplomatic negotiations over Syria's chemical weapons.

U.S. stocks closed with mild losses Thursday, with the S&P 500 index snapping a seven-day winning streak.

European markets were lower in midday trading Friday, while most major Asian indexes closed in the red.

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