Dow Joins Nasdaq And S&P 500 In Positive Territory - U.S. Commentary

(RTTNews) - While a steep drop by Boeing (BA) is weighing on the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have moved sharply higher during trading on Monday. The major averages are rebounding following the notable pullback seen last week.

The Dow has joined the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in positive territory but is posting a relatively modest gain, rising 98.67 points or 0.4 percent to 25,548.91. The Nasdaq is surging up 118.27 points or 1.6 percent to 7,526.41 and the S&P 500 is jumping 32.79 points or 1.2 percent at 2,775.86.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected uptick in U.S. retail sales in January.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.2 percent in January after tumbling by a revised 1.6 percent in December.

Economists had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 1.2 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a steep drop in auto sales, retail sales climbed by 0.9 percent in January after plummeting by a revised 2.1 percent in December.

Ex-auto sales had been expected to increase by 0.3 percent compared to the 1.8 percent plunge originally reported for the previous month.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, also jumped by 1.1 percent in January after plunging by 2.3 percent in December.

A separate Commerce Department reported showed business inventories increased in line with economist estimates in the month of December.

Meanwhile, the Dow is underperforming its counterparts due to a sharp drop by Boeing, with the aerospace giant plunging by 7 percent.

Boeing came under pressure following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which is the second crash in five months involving the company's 737 Max 8 model.

Sector News

Technology stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, contributing to the significant advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Computer hardware and semiconductor stocks are turning in some of the tech sector's best performances, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index surging up by 2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Considerable strength also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

The rally by oil service stocks comes amid an increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for April delivery climbing $0.78 to $56.85 a barrel.

Biotechnology, tobacco, steel and transportation stocks are also seeing notable strength, while gold stocks are among the few groups bucking the uptrend amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest weakness after trending higher over the past few sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.6 basis points at 2.641 percent.
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