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Major Averages Continue To Turn In Mixed Performance In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet aug22 11aug20 lt

After moving in opposite directions early in the session, the major U.S. stock averages continue to turn in a mixed performance in mid-day trading on Tuesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 are moving higher for the eighth straight session, while the Nasdaq is pulling back further off last Thursday's record highs.

Currently, the Dow is up 244.42 points or 0.9 percent at 28,035.86 and the S&P 500 is up 8.61 points or 0.3 percent at 3,369.08, closing in on its record highs. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is down 34.52 points or 0.3 percent at 10,933.84.

The continued advance by the Dow and the S&P 500 comes following news that Russia has approved a coronavirus vaccine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming the vaccine works "quite effectively."

"It forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, has passed all the necessary checks," Putin said at a meeting with members of the government, according to RIA Novosti.

The speed of the development of the vaccine has raised questions about its safety, although the news has still generated optimism the coronavirus pandemic can be contained in the relatively near future.

The optimism about a potential vaccine has led to traders to cycle into stocks like airlines and cruise operators and out of technology stocks, contributing to the drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices climbed by more than expected in the month of July.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.6 percent in July after dipping by 0.2 percent in June.

The rebound in producer prices reflected the largest increase since October of 2018 and exceeded economist estimates for an uptick of 0.3 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still climbed by 0.5 percent in July after falling by 0.3 percent in June. Economists had expected core prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Sector News

Airline stocks continue to see substantial strength in mid-day trading, resulting in a 4.8 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The index reached a nearly two-month intraday high in early trading.

Significant strength also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.8 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

The rally by oil service stocks comes amid a modest increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for September delivery rising $0.20 to $42.14 a barrel.

Financial, tobacco and networking stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Meanwhile, gold stocks continue to buck the uptrend, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index plunging by 6.6 percent. The index continues to give back ground after reaching its best closing level in over seven years last Wednesday.

The sell-off by gold stocks comes amid a steep drop by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery is plummeting $88.40 to $1,951.30 an ounce.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Tuesday, although China's Shanghai Composite Index bucked the uptrend and slumped by 1.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 2.1 percent.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index soared by 2.4 percent, the German DAX Index spiked by 2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved significantly lower over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 6.9 basis points at 0.643 percent.

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