Stocks have moved modestly higher in early trading on Wednesday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, although buying interest has remained relatively subdued.
The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session but are currently clinging to modest gains. The Dow is up 26.34 points or 0.2 percent at 12,561.01, the Nasdaq is up 6.54 points or 0.2 percent at 2,860.60 and the S&P 500 is up 3.86 points or 0.3 percent at 1,323.85.
The early strength on Wall Street comes on the heels of the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing a bigger than expected increase in durable goods orders in the month of May.
The report showed that durable goods orders jumped by 1.1 percent in May following a revised 0.2 percent decrease in April. Economists had expected orders to increase by 0.4 percent.
Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders increased by a more modest 0.4 percent in May compared to a 0.6 percent drop in the previous month.
Nonetheless, traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of an upcoming summit of European leaders. Ahead of the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her opposition to the idea of common eurozone bonds, saying that Europe would not share debt liability in her lifetime.
After helping to lead the markets higher on Tuesday, housing stocks are seeing some further upside in early trading. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is up by 1.9 percent, climbing to its best levels in almost a month.
Lennar (LEN) is turning in one of the housing sector's best performances, with the homebuilder climbing 4.4 percent after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings and revenues. The company also reported a 40 percent jump in new orders.
Natural gas stocks have also shown a strong upward move in early trading, moving higher along with the price of natural gas. While healthcare provider and utilities stocks are also seeing early strength, weakness is visible among gold, steel, and electronic storage stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1 percent.
The major European markets have also shown notable moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.7 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are turning in a lackluster performance, lingering near the unchanged line. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 1.625 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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