U.S. Stocks Seeing Further Upside In Mid-Day Trading
After moving mostly higher early in the session, stocks have seen further upside over the course of the trading day on Friday. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have more than offset yesterday’s pullback, although the Dow has underperformed its counterparts.
In recent trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached new highs for the session. While the Dow is up 170.92 points or 0.5 percent at 33,986.82, the Nasdaq is up 194.98 points or 1.4 percent at 14,013.40 and the S&P 500 is up 42.21 points or 1 percent at 4,177.19.
The rally on Wall Street partly reflects the volatility seen over the past few sessions, which have seen the major averages show big swings back-and-forth.
After coming under pressure early in the week, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Wednesday.
Stocks subsequently experienced choppy trading early on Thursday before pulling back sharply on reports of President Joe Biden’s plans to raise capital gains tax rates.
The major averages slid back toward the lower end of a recent trading range, potentially leading to the renewed buying interest seen in today’s trading.
Optimism about the economic recovery has helped prop up the markets, although concerns about high valuations and surging coronavirus cases overseas have led to worries about the near-term outlook.
The Dow is underperforming the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 due in part to a steep drop by shares of Intel (INTC), with the semiconductor giant tumbling by 5.9 percent.
The decline by Intel comes after the company reported better than expected first quarter results but provided guidance below analyst estimates.
Dow components American Express (AXP) and Honeywell (HON) have also moved to the downside despite reporting better than expected quarterly earnings.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing a substantial rebound in new home sales in the month of March.
The report showed new home sales skyrocketed by 20.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.021 million in March after plunging by 16.2 percent to a revised rate of 846,000 in February.
Economists had expected new home sales to spike by 14.3 percent to a rate of 886,000 from the 775,000 originally reported for the previous month.
With the rebound, new home sales soared from the eight-month low set in February to their highest level since August of 2006.
Banking stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 2.5 percent.
Substantial strength also remains visible among airline stocks, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 2.5 percent. The index continues to rebound after falling a nearly two-month closing low on Tuesday.
Computer hardware stocks have also turned in a strong performance on the day, resulting in a 2.3 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware. The advance has lifted the index to a new record intraday high.
Brokerage, semiconductor and steel stocks are also seeing considerable strength in mid-day trading, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, European stocks climbed off their worst levels of the day but still closed mostly lower. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed nearly unchanged, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have once again shown a lack of direction over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.558 percent.
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