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Nasdaq Sharply Higher In Mid-Day Trading, Dow Posting Modest Gain

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After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The major averages are rebounding following the notable downward move seen late in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are hovering in positive territory, with the Dow posting a relatively modest gain. While the Dow is up 65.94 points or 0.3 percent at 26,445.22, the Nasdaq is up 114.35 points or 1.1 percent at 10,516.44 and the S&P 500 is up 26.46 points or 0.8 percent at 3,244.90.

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 C.H. Robinson (CHRW) have also spiked after the transportation services provider reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, General Motors (GM) has moved to the downside over the course of the session even though the automaker reported a narrower than expected second quarter loss.

Shares of Boeing (BA) have also 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.

Sector News

Housing stocks continue to see considerable strength following the upbeat pending home sales data, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index jumping by 2.2 percent.

Substantial strength also remains visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.

Transportation, semiconductor and software stocks have also shown strong moves to the upside on the day, moving higher along with most of other major sectors.

Meanwhile, airline stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 2.7 percent.

Gold stocks are also giving back ground following recent strength even though the price of the precious metal is seeing further upside after ending the previous session at a record closing high.

Other Markets

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.

The major averages also finished the day mixed once again. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line and the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.6 percent.

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 0.582 percent.

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