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Stocks Turn Mostly Higher After Seeing Initial Weakness - U.S. Commentary

With upbeat U.S. manufacturing data overshadowing some disappointing European economic reports, stocks have turned mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Monday. The major averages have bounced well off their early lows and into positive territory.

Stocks initially moved to the downside following the release of reports showing a continued contraction in European manufacturing activity as well as an increase in the unemployment rate in the eurozone.

Nonetheless, the markets rebounded following the release of a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector in the month of March.

Gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.9 percent. The strength in the gold sector comes as the price of the precious metal is climbing by more than $10 an ounce.

Steel, railroad, and healthcare provider stocks have also moved notably higher, while significant weakness remains visible among housing and biotech stocks.

The major averages are currently posting modest gains, with the Dow just above the unchanged line. While the Dow is up 1.85 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 13,213.89, the Nasdaq is up 8.99 points or 0.3 percent at 3,100.56 and the S&P 500 is up 4.03 points or 0.3 percent at 1,412.50.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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