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U.S. Stocks Have Offset The Sell-Off Seen On Monday

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Stocks have moved significantly higher over the course of the trading day on Thursday, extending the upward move seen in the two previous sessions. With the continued advance, the major average have offset the steep losses posted on Monday.

Currently, the major averages are hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 281.53 points or 1.1 percent at 25,929.55, the Nasdaq is up 116.79 points or 1.5 percent at 7,938.94 and the S&P 500 is up 37.56 points or 1.3 percent at 2,888.52.

The rally on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to earnings news from Walmart (WMT), with the retail giant jumping by 2.7 percent.

The advance by Walmart comes after the company reported fiscal first quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates on better than expected comparable store sales growth.

Networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO) has also surged up by 7 percent after reporting fiscal third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

The markets are also benefiting from the release of a batch of upbeat economic data, including report from the Labor Department showing initial jobless claims dropped more than expected in the week ended May 11th.

The report said initial jobless claims slid to 212,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 228,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 220,000.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a substantial increase in new residential construction in the month of April.

The Commerce Department said housing starts surged up by 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.235 million in April after climbing by 1.7 percent to a revised rate of 1.168 million in March.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, also rose by 0.6 percent to a rate of 1.296 million in April after edging down by 0.2 percent to a revised rate of 1.288 million in March.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also released a report a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in May.

The upbeat news has offset trade concerns after President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services.

Sector News

Software stocks continue to turn in some of the market's best performances in mid-day trading, resulting in a 2.4 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index. The index continues to rebound after ending Monday's trading at its lowest closing level in over a month.

Significant strength also remains visible among retail stocks, with Walmart leading the way higher. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index has surged up by 1.8 percent.

Chemical stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, as reflected by the 1.8 percent gain being posted by the S&P Chemical Sector Index. The index is climbing further off the three-month closing low set on Monday.

Transportation, biotechnology, financial, and healthcare stocks have also moved notably higher, while gold stocks bucking the uptrend amid a steep drop by the price of the precious metal.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.6 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index surged up by 1.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after trending higher over the past several sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.4 basis points at 2.403 percent.

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