Stocks Remain Firmly Positive After Early Rally - U.S. Commentary

(RTTNews) - After moving sharply higher early in the session, stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading on Wednesday. With the advance on the day, the major averages are extending the strong upward move seen late in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are off their best levels of the day but remain firmly positive. The Dow is up 302.47 points or 1.2 percent at 25,177.11, the Nasdaq is up 138.00 points or 1.9 percent at 7,299.65 and the S&P 500 is up 34.58 points or 1.3 percent at 2,717.21.

The continued strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to the latest earnings news from several big-name companies.

Auto giant General Motors (GM), eCommerce giant eBay (EBAY), and social media giant Facebook (FB) are posting notable gains after reporting better than expected quarterly earnings.

Buying interest has also been generated in reaction to a report from payroll processor ADP showing stronger than expected private sector job growth in the month of October.

ADP said private employment jumped by 227,000 jobs in October after surging up by a downwardly revised 218,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected an increase of about 189,000 jobs compared to the addition of 230,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The stronger than expected job growth in October reflected the biggest increase in private sector employment since a jump of 241,000 jobs in February.

The upbeat private sector jobs data has generated some optimism about the Labor Department's more closely watched monthly jobs report due to be released on Friday.

Traders may also be doing some window dressing, picking up stocks at reduced levels in what remains on pace to be one of the worst months for the markets in years.

Sector News

Computer hardware stocks continue to turn in some of the market's best performances in mid-day trading, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index jumping by 3.8 percent. The index continues to recover from the well over one-year closing low set on Monday.

Significant strength also remains visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 2.8 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The rally by steel stocks comes despite the release of disappointing Chinese manufacturing data.

Energy stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, as the price of crude oil for December delivery is inching up $0.08 to $66.26 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 2.7 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.0 percent.

Software, networking and banking stocks are also posting standout gains, while notable weakness is visible among gold and utilities stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved notably higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shot up by 1.6 percent.

The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 2.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their lows of the session but remain in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.4 basis points at 3.134 percent.
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