After moving mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Thursday, stocks continue to see notable strength in the mid-afternoon. The major averages have not sustained the upward move but remain firmly in positive territory.
The strength on Wall Street comes on the heels of the release of a report from the Labor Department showing an unexpected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended June 9th.
While the report points to continued sluggishness in the labor market, the data has led to optimism regarding the likelihood of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Most of the major sectors have moved to the upside on the day, with housing stocks posting particularly strong gains. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index has surged up by 2.4 percent amid notable gains by M/I Homes (MHO), KB Home (KBH), and Standard Pacific (SPF).
Natural gas stocks are also seeing considerable strength, moving higher along with the price of natural gas. With natural gas for July delivery jumping $0.262 to $2.447 per million BTUs, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 2.3 percent.
Biotechnology, tobacco, trucking, and healthcare provider stocks are also posting strong gains, reflecting the broad based buying interest.
The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, holding on to the bulk of the morning's gains. The Dow is up 128.89 points or 1 percent at 12,625.27, the Nasdaq is up 13.40 points or 0.5 percent at 2,832.01 and the S&P 500 is up 11.51 points or 0.9 percent at 1,326.39.
by RTT Staff Writer
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