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Stocks Moving Mostly Higher In Late Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary

Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Tuesday, although buying interest remains relatively subdued. The major averages have climbed somewhat more firmly into positive territory after showing a lack of direction earlier in the day.

Much of the strength that has emerged on Wall Street stems from the release of a report from the Conference Board showing a substantial improvement in consumer confidence in the month of February. The report helped to overshadow disappointing durable goods orders and home price data.

Semiconductor stocks are seeing considerable strength in late morning trading, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 1.9 percent. Cree (CREE) and STMicroelectronics (STM) are turning in two of the sector's best performances.

Airline, electronic storage, and gold stocks have also shown notable moves to the upside. The strength among gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

On the other hand, moderate weakness among railroad, health insurance, and housing stocks is helping to limit the upside for the markets. Most of the major sectors are showing relatively modest moves.

The major averages are currently hovering in positive territory, with the Dow just above the 13,000 level. The Dow is up 27.43 points or 0.2 percent at 13,008.94, the Nasdaq is up 21.84 points or 0.7 percent at 2,988.00 and the S&P 500 is up 4.51 points or 0.3 percent at 1,372.10.

by RTT Staff Writer

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