Plus   Neg

Major Averages Climb To New Record Intraday Highs - U.S. Commentary


Following the strength seen in the previous session, stocks are seeing further upside in morning trading on Wednesday. With the continued upward move, the major averages have climbed to new record intraday highs.

In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Dow is up 77.96 points or 0.3 percent at 24,901.97, the Nasdaq is up 47.46 points or 0.7 percent at 7,054.36 and the S&P 500 is up 12.42 points or 0.5 percent at 2,708.23.

The continued strength on Wall Street comes as upbeat data has added to recent optimism about the economic outlook.

A report released by the Institute for Supply Management showed growth in manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in the month of December.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 58.1.

"This indicates growth in manufacturing for the 16th consecutive month, led by strong expansion in new orders and production," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a bigger than expected increase in construction spending in the month of November.

The Commerce Department said construction spending climbed by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of $1.257 trillion in November from a revised $1.247 trillion in October. Economists had expected spending to rise by 0.5 percent.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting held in December.

The minutes of the latest Fed meeting may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates in the new year.

Housing stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 1.2 percent. The advance has lifted the index to a record intraday high.

Computer hardware, oil service, and biotechnology stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while weakness is visible among airline and gold stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, although the Japanese markets remained closed. China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 1.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved slightly higher following the pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by nearly a basis point at 2.456 percent.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT