After moving moderately higher in early trading on Thursday, stocks have seen further upside over the course of the morning. The major averages have climbed more firmly into positive territory, continuing to recover from the sell-off seen earlier in the week.
The strength that has emerged on Wall Street comes as traders have shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing a notable increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 7th. Some economists noted that the number may be skewed due to the holiday weekend.
Positive sentiment has been generated by the release of a separate report from the Commerce Department showing a significantly narrower than expected U.S. trade deficit in February. Capital Economics raised its first quarter GDP growth estimates to 2.5 percent from 2.0 percent in response to the data.
Resource stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, with steel stocks posting particularly strong gains in late morning trading. The NYSE Arca Steel Index has surged up by 3.9 percent, climbing further off Tuesday's three-month closing low.
Gold and oil service stocks are also seeing considerable strength, moving higher along with the prices of their associated commodities.
Significant strength has also emerged in variety of other sectors, with transportation, healthcare, housing, and chemical stocks posting standout gains.
The major averages have edged down off their highs for the session in the past few minutes but are holding on to strong gains. The Dow is up 143.99 points or 1.1 percent at 12,949.38, the Nasdaq is up 36.07 points or 1.2 percent at 3,052.53 and the S&P 500 is up 14.29 points or 1 percent at 1,383.00.
by RTT Staff Writer
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