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Upbeat Apple Earnings Lead To Early Rally On Wall Street - U.S. Commentary

After ending the previous session mixed, stocks have shown a strong move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a significant advance.

The major averages have seen some further upside in recent trading, reaching new highs for the young session. The Dow is up 93.17 points or 0.7 percent at 13,094.73, the Nasdaq is up 67.68 points or 2.3 percent at 3,029.28 and the S&P 500 is up 18.19 points or 1.3 percent at 1,390.16.

The early strength on Wall Street comes after Apple (AAPL), the world's largest publicly-traded company by market capitalization, reported better than expected quarterly results after the close of trading on Tuesday. Shares of Apple are up by 10.2 percent in early trading.

Apple reported second quarter earnings of $12.30 per share, higher than $6.40 per share last year, while revenues jumped 59 percent to $39.2 billion. Analysts had expected the company to earn $10.06 per share on revenues of $36.8 billion.

The company benefited from a notable increase in the number of iPhones sold during the quarter, which soared 88 percent year-over-year to 35.1 million.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing a sharp drop in durable goods orders in the month of March.

The report showed that durable goods orders tumbled by 4.2 percent in March following a revised 1.9 percent increase in February. Economists had expected a more modest drop of about 1.5 percent.

The upward move may be being exaggerated by light volume ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement and Chairman Ben Bernanke's subsequent press conference.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates at near-zero levels, but traders will pay close attention to any comments regarding the outlook for further quantitative easing.

Technology stocks have shown a strong upward move on the news from Apple, with computer hardware and semiconductor stocks turning in some of the best performances.

Considerable strength has also emerged among healthcare provider stocks, as reflected by the 3.2 percent gain being posted by the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Provider Index. Kindred Healthcare (KND) is leading the sector higher, surging up by 24.3 percent.

Steel, airline, and telecom stocks are also seeing significant strength in early trading, moving higher along with most of the major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are all seeing strength on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index have jumped by 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable move to the downside amid the strength on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.1 basis points at 2.002 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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