Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of early trading on Wednesday after moving to the downside at the open. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory, with the Nasdaq showing a notable upward move.
The major averages have seen some further upside in the past few minutes, reaching new highs for the young session. The Dow is up 35.05 points or 0.3 percent at 12,840.59, the Nasdaq is up 21.80 points or 0.8 percent at 2,931.84 and the S&P 500 is up 5.12 points or 0.4 percent at 1,368.79.
Technology stocks have helped to lead the way higher despite disappointing guidance from semiconductor giant Intel (INTC).
While Intel reported better than expected second quarter earnings after the close of trading on Tuesday, the company also reported weaker than expected revenues and lowered its full year revenue growth outlook. Nonetheless, shares of Intel have advanced by 2.4 percent.
Other semiconductor stocks are moving sharply higher along with Intel, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2.4 percent. With the gain, the index is bouncing off a nearly seven-month closing low.
Computer hardware, networking, and software stocks are also seeing considerable strength, contributing to the strong upward move by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Outside of the tech sector, trucking, housing, and defense stocks are also showing strong moves to the upside. Meanwhile, gold and brokerage stocks are bucking the uptrend.
In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report before the start of trading showing a bigger than expected rebound in housing starts in the month of June.
The report showed that housing starts jumped 6.9 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 in June from the revised May estimate of 711,000. Economists had expected housing starts to climb to 745,000 from the 708,000 originally reported for the previous month.
On the other hand, building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, fell by 3.7 percent to an annual rate of 755,000 in June from the revised May rate of 784,000.
Traders are also keeping an eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, with the Fed Chief due to face questions from the House Financial Services Committee.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.3 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are seeing strength on the day. The French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.1 percent, while the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are up by 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are moving back to the upside after giving back some ground in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.7 basis points at 1.484 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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