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Major Averages Close Firmly Positive After Early Rally

4/25/2012 4:32 PM ET

With traders reacting positively to better than expected quarterly results from tech giant Apple (AAPL), stocks saw significant strength during trading on Wednesday. The markets continued to perform well following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

Most of the major sectors moved to the upside on the day, reflecting broad based buying interest. Gold stocks showed a particularly strong upward move over the course of the session, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.8 percent.

The strength among gold stocks came as the price of the precious metal climbed well off its lows for the session, although gold for June delivery still ended the day modestly lower.

Significant strength was also visible among chemical stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones Chemicals Index. FMC Corp. (FMC) turned in one of the sector's best performances after declaring a 2-for-1 stock split and a quarterly dividend of $0.09 per share.

Healthcare provider stocks also saw considerable strength, driving the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Provider Index up by 2.6 percent. Kindred Healthcare (KND) helped to lead the healthcare provider sector higher, surging up by 18.8 percent.

Computer hardware, railroad, semiconductor, and steel stocks also posted strong gains, with Apple leading the hardware sector to the upside.

After moving sharply higher in early trading, the major averages hovered firmly in positive territory throughout the day. The Dow rose 89.16 points or 0.7 percent to 13,090.72, the Nasdaq surged up 68.03 points or 2.3 percent to 3,029.63 and the S&P 500 climbed 18.72 points or 1.4 percent to 1,390.69.

by RTT Staff Writer

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