After moving mostly higher over the course of the previous session, stocks have seen some further upside in morning trading on Wednesday. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory but remain well off last week's highs.
Much of the strength that has emerged on Wall Street stems from the release of some upbeat U.S. economic data, which has overshadowed the lingering concerns about the financial situation in Europe.
Stocks saw early strength following the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing a bigger than expected increase in durable goods orders in May.
Further buying interest was generated by the release of a report from the National Association of Realtors showing much stronger than expected May pending home sales growth.
Housing stocks have moved sharply higher on the heels of the pending home sales report, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 3.2 percent. Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) is posting a notable gain after reporting better than expected second quarter results.
Significant strength has also emerged among energy stocks, which are moving higher along with the price of crude oil. Crude for August delivery is climbing $0.88 to $80.24 a barrel.
Telecom, semiconductor, and airline stocks are also posting strong gains, while gold stocks are bucking the uptrend amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal.
The major averages have pulled back off their best levels in recent trading but are holding on to notable gains. The Dow is up 80.64 points or 0.6 percent at 12,615.31, the Nasdaq is up 20.13 points or 0.7 percent at 2,874.19 and the S&P 500 is up 9.62 points or 0.7 percent at 1,329.61.
by RTT Staff Writer
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