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U.S. Stocks Move Modestly Higher On Optimism About Further Stimulus

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Following the strong upward move seen last week, stocks have moved modestly higher in morning trading on Monday. With the uptick on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 have reached their best intraday levels in over a month.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq briefly dipped below the unchanged line but is currently up 5.98 points or 0.1 percent at 8,109.06. The Dow is up 93.01 points or 0.4 percent at 26,890.47 and the S&P 500 is up 5.93 points or 0.2 percent at 2,984.64.

The modest strength on Wall Street partly reflects optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates at a meeting on Thursday.

Expectations for another interest rate by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.

Data from China showing an unexpected drop in exports in August has also added to the hopes of more stimulus to stave off a global recession.

Official data showed Chinese exports in August unexpectedly fell by 1 percent compared to year ago, reflecting the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S.

Subsequently, the trade war also remains on investors' minds, although traders seem optimistic about high-level trade talks scheduled for next month.

Some political observers have suggested President Donald Trump may soften his stance on China in order to reach an agreement and prevent a U.S. recession just before Election Day.

Energy stocks have shown a significant move to the upside in morning trading, benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil. Crude for October delivery is jumping $1.10 to $57.62 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index have surged up by 3.3 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Considerable strength has also emerged among banking stocks, as reflected by the 2.3 percent gain being posted by the KBW Bank Index.

Steel, transportation, and biotechnology stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while gold, pharmaceutical and software stocks have moved to the downside.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable move back to the downside after last Friday's rebound. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 7.3 basis points at 1.623 percent.

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