Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday after showing a lack of direction earlier in the session. The major averages have climbed back into positive territory, although buying interest remains somewhat subdued.
The volatility seen in morning trading came as traders kept a close eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
In his prepared remarks, Bernanke reiterated that the central bank is prepared to take further action if the economy continues to struggle, but traders seemed disappointed that his remarks did not indicate that further stimulus was imminent.
Traders are also digesting earnings news from well known companies such as Goldman Sachs (GS), Coca-Cola (KO), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) along with a batch of largely upbeat economic data.
Chemical stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Chemicals Index up by 1.6 percent. FMC Corp. (FMC), PPG Industries (PPG) and DuPont (DD) are posting notable gains in mid-afternoon trading.
Telecom, commercial real estate, and pharmaceutical stocks are also seeing significant strength, moving higher along with most of the major sectors. On the other hand, considerable weakness remains visible among trucking stocks.
The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering well above the unchanged line. The Dow is up 86.43 points or 0.7 percent at 12,813.64, the Nasdaq is up 14.64 points or 0.5 percent at 2,911.58 and the S&P 500 is up 9.84 points or 0.7 percent at 1,363.48.
by RTT Staff Writer
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