U.S. Stocks Extending Post-Election Rally In Morning Trading

Extending the rally seen over the course of the two previous sessions, stocks have moved sharply higher in morning trading on Thursday. The major averages have all shown substantial moves to the upside on the day.

In recent trading, the major averages have seen further upside, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow is up 558.98 points or 2 percent at 28,406.64, the Nasdaq is up 286.09 points or 2.5 percent at 11,876.87 and the S&P 500 is up 76.71 points or 2.2 percent at 3,520.15.

The rally on Wall Street comes as traders continue to react positively to the latest news regarding the presidential election.

With projected wins in Michigan and Wisconsin, Democratic nominee Joe Biden currently sits at 253 electoral college votes, just shy of the 270 need to win the White House.

Votes continue to be counted in a number of key states, including Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

While Biden currently seems poised to unseat President Donald Trump, Democrats are not expected to take control of the Senate.

A divided government with Biden as President and Republicans controlling the Senate is seen as the preferred outcome on Wall Street.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 31st.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 751,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 758,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 732,000 from the 758,000 originally reported for the previous week.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on employment in the month of October.

Employment is expected to increase by about 600,000 jobs in October after climbing by 661,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy decision, followed by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference.

Gold stocks are turning in some of the market’s best performances on the day, resulting in a 6 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery skyrocketing $41.50 to $1,937.70 an ounce.

Substantial strength is also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 4.4 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Chemical, airline and software stocks are also seeing considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index soared by 3.3 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has spiked by 1.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond markets, treasuries are showing a lack of direction following the sharp increase seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is unchanged at 0.768 percent.

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