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Stocks Remain Mostly Positive In Mid-Afternoon Trading - U.S. Commentary

After showing a lack of direction earlier in the day, stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory, extending the upward move seen last week.

The markets have benefited from positive sentiment generated by tech giant Apple's (AAPL) announcement of plans to initiate a dividend and a share repurchase program. Shares of Apple are up by 2.1 percent on the news after reaching a high of $600 a share.

Financial stocks have helped to lead the way higher, with considerable strength visible among both brokerage and banking stocks. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index and the KBW Bank Index are up by 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Significant strength has also emerged among steel stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Networking, telecom, and computer hardware stocks have also shown strong moves to the upside, moving higher along with most of the major sectors.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 30.32 points or 0.2 percent at 13,262.94, the Nasdaq is up 30.59 points or 1 percent at 3,085.85 and the S&P 500 is up 9.07 points or 0.7 percent at 1,413.24.

by RTT Staff Writer

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