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U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Higher On Upbeat Earnings News

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Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Wednesday, regaining ground following the sharp pullback seen late in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, although the Dow is underperforming its counterparts.

The Dow has pulled back well off its high for the session but currently remains up 34.35 points or 0.1 percent at 26,413.63. The Nasdaq is up 106.91 points or 1 percent at 10,509.00 and the S&P 500 is up 21.92 points or 0.7 percent at 3,240.36.

The strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, with a number of big-name companies reporting better than expected quarterly results.

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has moved sharply higher after reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates and raising its full-year guidance.

Shares of General Motors (GM) have also moved to the upside after the automaker reported a narrower than expected second quarter loss.

On the other hand, shares of Boeing (BA) have come under pressure after the aerospace giant reported a wider than expected second quarter loss.

Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to a report from the National Association of Realtors showing another significant increase in pending home sales in the month of June.

NAR said its pending home sales index surged up by 16.6 percent to 116.1 in June after skyrocketing by 44.3 percent to 99.6 in May. Economists had expected pending home sales to jump by 15.0 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

With the continued increase in contract activity, pending home sales in June were up by 6.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"It is quite surprising and remarkable that, in the midst of a global pandemic, contract activity for home purchases is higher compared to one year ago," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, "Consumers are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates resulting from the Federal Reserve's maximum liquidity monetary policy."

Traders are also looking ahead to the Fed's monetary policy announcement this afternoon. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at near-zero levels, but traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about further stimulus.

Transportation stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the morning, driving the Dow Jones Transportation Average up by 2.5 percent to its best intraday level in well over a month.

C.H. Robinson (CHRW) is leading the sector higher after the transportation services provider reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Significant strength has also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.

Housing stocks are also seeing considerable strength following the pending home sales data, moving notably higher along with semiconductor, steel and brokerage stocks.

On the other hand, gold stocks are giving back ground following recent strength, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 2.2 percent.

The weakness among gold stocks comes as the price of the precious metal is pulling back off yesterday's record closing high, with gold for August delivery sliding $3.90 to $1,940.70 an ounce.

Airline stocks have also come under pressure in morning trading, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index slumping by 2.4 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.9 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both just above the unchanged line.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction ahead of the Fed's monetary policy announcement. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 0.584 percent.

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