U.S. Stocks Extend Upward Trend, Reach New Record Intraday Highs

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Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, adding to the strong gains posted last week. With the continued upward move, the major averages have all reached new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but still firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 184.82 points or 0.6 percent at 31,333.06, the Nasdaq is up 80.94 points or 0.6 percent at 13,937.23 and the S&P 500 is up 19.54 points or 0.5 percent at 3,906.37.

The markets continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has propelled the major averages higher over the past several sessions.

A slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of the world and vaccine rollout efforts have helped generate continued buying interest.

Traders also remain optimistic about the outlook for the global economy and the likelihood of additional U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Democrats have taken the first steps toward passing President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package without Republican support but continue to favor a bipartisan approach.

Nonetheless, trading activity is somewhat subdued amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front, with some traders likely to remain away from their desks following the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Energy stocks are turning in some of the market's best performances in morning trading, moving higher along with the price of crude oil. Crude for March delivery is jumping $0.94 to $57.79 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 3 percent and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.8 percent.

Considerable strength has also emerged among airline stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Steel, networking and housing stocks are also seeing significant strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both up by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.174 percent.

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