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Stocks Continue To See Modest Strength In Afternoon Trading - U.S. Commentary

After turning higher over the course of morning trading on Monday, stocks continue to see modest strength in the mid-afternoon. The major averages are hovering in positive territory, with the Dow holding near 13,000.

The recovery from the initial move to the downside came on the heels of the release of a report from the National Association of Realtors showing a bigger than expected increase in pending home sales in January. With the increase, pending home sales reached a nearly two-year high.

Further buying interest was generated by a pullback by the price of crude oil as well as news that Germany's lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, voted 496 to 90 in favor of a second Greek bailout package worth 130 billion euros.

Banking stocks have shown a strong move to the upside over the course of the trading day, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 1.1 percent. Wells Fargo (WFC) and SunTrust (STI) are turning in two of the sector's best performances.

Housing, tobacco, and transportation stocks are also seeing notable strength in mid-afternoon trading, while weakness remains visible among biotechnology and electronic storage stocks. Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, holding on to modest gains The Dow is up 25.39 points or 0.2 percent at 13,008.34, the Nasdaq is up 5.36 points or 0.2 percent at 2,969.11 and the S&P 500 is up 3.36 points or 0.3 percent at 1,369.10.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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