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Stocks Seeing Further Upside In Late Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary

With traders reacting positively to U.S. retail sales data, stocks are seeing notable strength in late morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory after turning in a mixed performance in the previous session.

The strength on Wall Street is partly due to the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing a notable increase in retail sales in the month of February. The report showed that retail sales rose by 1.1 percent in February following an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in January.

The markets have also benefited from news that European finance ministers have approved a second bailout for Greece worth 130 billion euros.

Extending a recent upward move, housing stocks are turning in some of the market's best performances on the day. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index has surged up by 1.8 percent to its best intraday level in almost two years.

Banking stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 1.6 percent to a seven-month intraday high. Steel, semiconductor, and brokerage stocks are also posting notable gains.

The major averages have seen some further upside in recent trading, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow is up 76.67 points or 0.6 percent at 13,036.38, the Nasdaq is up 21.70 points or 0.7 percent at 2,005.36 and the S&P 500 is up 8.64 points or 0.6 percent at 1,379.73.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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