After moving sharply higher at the start of trading on Thursday, stocks have continued to perform well over the course of the morning. The major averages have pulled back off their best levels of the day but remain firmly in positive territory.
The rally seen at the open was largely due to a positive reaction to comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who promised to do what is necessary to support to beleaguered eurozone.
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.
Electronic storage stocks continue to post substantial gains in late morning trading, with the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index up by 4.8 percent. Western Digital (WDC: Quote) has helped to lead the storage sector higher after reporting much stronger than expected fourth quarter earnings.
Significant strength also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.2 percent gain being posted by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The strength among oil service stocks comes as crude for September delivery is climbing $0.83 to $89.80 a barrel.
Telecom, semiconductor, railroad, and software stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while moderate weakness has emerged among health insurance stocks.
The major averages have pulled back further off their highs in recent trading but continue to post strong gains. The Dow is up 163.89 points or 1.3 percent at 12,839.94, the Nasdaq is up 29.98 points or 1.1 percent at 2,884.22 and the S&P 500 is up 15.54 points or 1.2 percent at 1,353.43.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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