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U.S. Stocks Continue To See Considerable Strength In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet up 032918 20jan21 lt

After showing a strong move to the upside early in the session, stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The advance on the day has lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but still firmly positive. The Dow is up 187.57 points or 0.6 percent at 31,118.09, the Nasdaq is up 226.81 points or 1.7 percent at 13,423.99 and the S&P 500 is up 42.13 points or 1.1 percent at 3,841.04.

The spike by the tech-heavy Nasdaq is partly due to a sharp increase by shares of Netflix (NFLX), with the video streaming giant soaring by 14.1 percent.

Netflix has reached a record intraday high after reporting strong fourth quarter subscriber growth, with total subscribers exceeding 200 million.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates, although its revenues came in better than expected and Netflix said it will explore returning cash to shareholders through ongoing stock buybacks.

Big-name companies like Procter & Gamble (PG) and Morgan Stanley (MS) also reported better than expected quarterly results, extending the positive start to earnings season.

The rally on Wall Street also comes as former Vice President Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Biden has called for additional stimulus and an accelerated coronavirus vaccine rollout, which has helped offset concerns about higher taxes and increased regulation under a Democratic administration.

The president is expected to sign several executive orders shortly after taking office, including orders to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and end former President Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban as well as the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border well.

Sector News

Retail stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading, with the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index surging up by 2.9 percent to its best intraday level in three months.

Significant strength has also emerged among housing stocks, as reflected by the 2.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The index has also reached a three-month intraday high.

The rally by housing stocks comes even though the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing an unexpected drop in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of January.

Software stocks also continue to see substantial strength on the day, resulting in a 2.6 percent spike by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Gold stocks have also moved sharply higher along with the price of the precious metal, while notable strength is also visible among commercial real estate and transportation stocks.

Meanwhile, natural gas, oil service, and banking stocks are among the groups bucking the uptrend by the broader markets.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, although Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.4 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.5 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.1 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction after ending the previous session nearly unchanged. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.096 percent.

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