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Major Averages Holding On To Moderate Gains

5/16/2012 11:01 AM ET

Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Wednesday, regaining some ground after trending lower in recent sessions. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory but remain well off their recent highs.

Bargain hunting has contributed to the strength on Wall Street, with some traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the recent weakness in the markets. The losses seen on Tuesday pulled the major averages down to new three-month closing lows.

The markets have also benefited from some upbeat U.S. economic data, including a report from the Federal Reserve showing a much bigger than expected increase in industrial production in April.

Nonetheless, buying interest is somewhat subdued amid lingering concerns about the political situation in Greece, which is headed for a new round of elections after lawmakers failed to form a coalition government.

Gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.8 percent after ending the previous session a two-year closing low. The rebound by gold stocks comes despite a continued decrease by the price of the precious metal.

Significant weakness is also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. Computer hardware, railroad, and networking stocks are also posting notable gains.

The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the session in recent trading but are holding on to moderate gains. The Dow is up 45.49 points or 0.4 percent at 12,677.49, the Nasdaq is up 14.34 points or 0.5 percent at 2,908.10 and the S&P 500 is up 6.20 points or 0.5 percent at 1,336.86.

by RTT Staff Writer

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