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Stocks Move Mostly Higher In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary


Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Thursday following the weakness seen in the previous session.

Currently, the Dow is up 300.61 points or 1.2 percent at 24,490.06, the Nasdaq is up 79.81 points or 1.1 percent at 7,148.84 and the S&P 500 is up 25.06 points or 1 percent at 2,667.25.

The strength on Wall Street comes as President Donald Trump sought to downplay concerns about an attack on Syria.

"Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Trump said in a post on Twitter.

He added, "In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our 'Thank you America?'"

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first time claims for unemployment benefits decreased in the week ended April 7th.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 233,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 242,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 230,000.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed import prices came in unchanged in March, while export prices increased by more than expected.

The Labor Department said import prices recorded no change in March after climbing by 0.3 percent in February. Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices increased by 0.3 percent in March after rising by 0.2 percent in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Banking stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 1.8 percent.

Semiconductor, computer hardware, and transportation stocks have also moved notably higher, while considerable weakness is visible among gold stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just above the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved notably lower amid the strength on Wall Street. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.9 basis points at 2.819 percent.

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