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Dow Outperforming Nasdaq, S&P 500 In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet oct22 05aug20 lt

After an early move to the upside, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The Dow is posting a particularly strong gain after reaching its best intraday level in nearly two months.

Currently, the Dow is outperforming the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 by a wide margin. While the Dow is up 321.99 points or 1.2 percent at 27,150.46, the Nasdaq is up 28.80 points or 0.3 percent at 10,969.97 and the S&P 500 is up 17.73 points or 0.5 percent at 3,324.24.

The notable advance by the Dow is partly due to a sharp increase by shares of Disney (DIS), with the entertainment giant spiking by 10.6 percent.

After the close of trading on Tuesday, Disney reported an unexpected adjusted fiscal third quarter profit despite weaker than expected revenues.

The continued strength in the broader markets may reflect optimism that lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill.

Democratic leaders said they continue to make progress toward an agreement after meeting with Trump administration officials on Tuesday.

"We're making progress," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through them,"

"They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated," he added. "We're still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we're continuing to go at it."

The comments from Schumer come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., indicated he would support any agreement between Democrats and the White House.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from payroll processor ADP showing a substantial slowdown in private sector job growth in the month of July.

ADP said private sector employment rose by 167,000 jobs in July after soaring by an upwardly revised 4.314 million jobs in June.

Economists had expected employment to surge up by another 1.5 million jobs compared to the 2.369 million job spike originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report from the Institute for Supply Management showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in service sector activity in the month of July.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index inched up to 58.1 in July after spiking to 57.1 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in service sector activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 55.0.

Sector News

Oil service stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Oil Service Index up by 4 percent to its best intraday level in nearly two months.

The rally by oil service stocks comes as the price of crude oil for September delivery is spiking $1.33 to $43.03 a barrel following the release of a report showing a much bigger than expected weekly drop in crude oil inventories.

Significant strength also remains visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 3.3 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index also reached a nearly two-month intraday high earlier in the session.

Chemical stocks are also turning in a particularly strong performance in mid-day trading, with the S&P Chemical Sector Index surging up by 2.3 percent.

Gold, airline and financial stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, while notable weakness has emerged among utilities stocks.

Other Markets

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

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after ending the previous session notably higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.3 basis points at 0.548 percent.

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