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U.S. Stocks Hovering Firmly In Positive Territory

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After showing a strong move to the upside early in the session, stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The major averages are rebounding following the sharp pullback seen in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 208.34 points or 0.8 percent at 26,326.36, the Nasdaq is up 81.08 points or 1 percent at 7,955.23 and the S&P 500 is up 26.56 points or 0.9 percent at 2,932.83.

The initial strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to developments overseas, including news that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has withdrawn a controversial extradition bill.

The bill, which would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China, sparked widespread protests across Hong Kong.

Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to a report showing growth in China's service sector accelerated in August despite broader economic headwinds.

Back in the U.S., the Commerce Department released a report showing the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in the month of July amid an increase in exports and a modest decrease in imports.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $54.0 billion in July from a revised $55.5 billion in June.

Economists had expected the deficit to narrow to $53.5 billion from the $55.2 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The narrower trade deficit came as the value of exports climbed by 0.6 percent to $207.4 billion, while the value of imports edged down by 0.1 percent to $261.4 billion.

Later in the trading day, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts.

The Beige Book, which is typically released two weeks before the Fed's next monetary policy meeting, may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.

Sector News

After turning in some of the worst performances in the previous session, steel stocks have shown a strong move back to the upside.

Reflecting the strength in the sector, the NYSE Arca Steel Index has surged up by 2.5 percent after tumbling by 2.6 percent on Tuesday.

Semiconductor stocks have also shown a significant rebound, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2.4 percent.

Computer hardware, energy and networking stocks are also seeing notable strength in mid-day trading, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, with Hong Kong stocks leading the way higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index spiked by 3.9 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index jumped by 1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.471 percent.

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