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U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Higher In Morning Trading

wallstreet sept17 28may20 lt

Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Thursday, extending the upward move seen over the past few sessions. With the advance, the Dow and the S&P 500 have reached their best intraday levels since early March.

Currently, the major averages remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 103.55 points or 0.4 percent at 25,651.82, the Nasdaq is up 52.57 points or 0.6 percent at 9,464.93 and the S&P 500 is up 15.32 points or 0.5 percent at 3,051.45.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 23rd.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 2.123 million, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week's revised level of 2.446 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 2.100 million from the 2.438 million originally reported for the previous week.

With the decrease, jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing a substantial decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of April.

The report said durable goods orders plunged by 17.2 percent in April following a revised 16.6 percent nosedive in March.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to plummet by 19.0 percent compared to the 14.4 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Utilities stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Utility Average up by 2.3 percent.

Considerable strength is also visible among pharmaceutical stocks, as reflected by the 2.3 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index.

Gold, healthcare and software stocks are also seeing notable strength, while weakness is visible among banking, housing and computer hardware stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 1.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after moving lower earlier in the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 0.688 percent.

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