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U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Higher Amid Optimism About Fiscal Stimulus

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Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, partly offsetting the pullback seen late last week. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a particularly strong gain.

In recent trading, the major averages have pulled back off their best levels, but they remain firmly positive. The Dow is up 122.31 points or 0.5 percent at 26,592.20, the Nasdaq is up 107.77 points or 1 percent at 10,470.95 and the S&P 500 is up 17.45 points or 0.5 percent at 3,233.08.

The strength on Wall Street may partly reflect optimism about additional fiscal stimulus after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Republicans have finalized their new coronavirus relief legislation.

Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" the GOP intends to introduce the $1 trillion bill on Monday after delaying the planned rollout last week.

Despite the vast gap in the price tags of the Republican plan and a $3 trillion bill passed by the Democrat-controlled House, Mnuchin said he expects lawmakers can move "very quickly" to address the differences.

"We've moved quickly before and I see no reason why we can't move quickly again," Mnuchin said. "And if there are issues that take longer, we'll deal with those as well."

In a separate interview with CNN's "State Of The Union," White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the GOP relief bill includes another $1,200 stimulus payment to Americans.

Traders are also digesting a Commerce Department report showing durable goods orders continued to move sharply higher in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders surged up by 7.3 percent in June after skyrocketing by a downwardly revised 15.1 percent in May. The continued increase comes following the nosedive seen in March and April.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to soar by 7.2 percent compared to the 15.7 percent spike that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding another substantial increase in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders still jumped by 3.3 percent in June after shooting up by 3.6 percent in May. Ex-transportation orders were expected to surge up by 3.5 percent.

Gold stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside in morning trading as the price of the precious metal soars to a new record high.

With gold for August delivery spiking $33.80 to $1,931.30 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has surged up by 5.5 percent to its best intraday level in over seven years.

Significant strength has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) is leading the sector higher after a report from the China Times said Intel (INTC) has placed orders with the chipmaker for 6-nanometer chips.

Biotechnology, computer hardware, and chemical stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, while utilities, banking and natural gas stocks have come under pressure.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.

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

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing initial strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 0.587 percent.

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