Stocks moved sharply higher at the start of trading on Thursday, benefiting from a positive reaction to the latest news out of Europe. The major averages all showed strong moves to the upside after ending the previous session mixed.
The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session but are currently holding on to strong gains. The Dow is up 215.24 points or 1.7 percent at 12,891.29, the Nasdaq is up 44.01 points or 1.5 percent at 2,898.25 and the S&P 500 is up 20.69 points or 1.6 percent at 1,358.58.
The initial rally was largely due to comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who promised to do what is needed to support to beleaguered eurozone.
"Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," Draghi said at an investment conference in London. "And believe me, it will be enough."
Draghi's remarks generated optimism about the possibility of more action to ease the debt crises in Italy and Spain at the next ECB monetary policy meeting next Thursday.
Relatively upbeat U.S. economic data also generated some buying interest, with a report from the Labor Department showing a much bigger than expected drop in weekly jobless claims.
Most of the major sectors have moved to the upside in early trading, reflecting broad based buying interest. Electronic storage stocks are posting particularly strong gains, driving the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index up by 5 percent.
Western Digital (WDC: Quote) is leading the storage sector higher, surging up by 21.1 percent after reporting much stronger than expected fourth quarter earnings.
Telecom stocks have also moved sharply higher, with Sprint Nextel (S: Quote) posting a standout gain after reporting second quarter sales growth that exceeded analyst estimates.
Oil service, semiconductor, housing, and biotechnology stocks are also posting notable gains in early trading, while airline stocks are bucking the uptrend.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown strong moves to the upside on the day. The French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 3 percent, while the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are jumping 2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly lower amid the rally by stocks. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.8 basis points at 1.424 percent.
| || |
| To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Western Digital Corp and others in your portfolio|
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org