Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Tuesday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. The major averages have climbed more firmly into positive territory after showing a lack of direction earlier in the session.
The markets have benefited from a positive reaction to a report from the National Association of Realtors showing an increase in existing home sales. Traders also continue to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the sell-off seen in recent weeks.
Banking stocks are posting particularly strong gains in late morning trading, resulting in a 2.6 percent jump by the KBW Bank Index. Financial giants JP Morgan (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) are turning in some of the sector's best performances.
Significant strength has also emerged among housing stocks, which have moved sharply higher on the heels of the existing home sales data. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is up by 2.5 percent, climbing further off last Friday's one-month closing low.
Brokerage, railroad, natural gas, and health insurance stocks have also shown strong moves to the upside, while some electronic storage stocks are bucking the uptrend.
The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering near their highs for the session. The Dow is up 60.74 points or 0.5 percent at 12,565.21, the Nasdaq is up 17.38 points or 0.6 percent at 2,864.59 and the S&P 500 is up 11.30 points or 0.9 percent at 1,327.29.
by RTT Staff Writer
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