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U.S. Stocks Move Back To The Upside Amid Volatile Trading Session

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Stocks have seen considerable volatility over the course of the trading session on Tuesday, with the major averages showing wild swings back and forth across the unchanged line. The major averages pulled back after seeing initial strength but have moved to the upside since then.

Currently, the major averages are just off their new highs of the session. The Dow is up 176.58 points or 0.5 percent at 35,014.74, the Nasdaq is up 34.35 points or 0.2 percent at 14,715.42 and the S&P 500 is up 21.44 points or 0.5 percent at 4,408.60.

The volatility on Wall Street comes as traders weigh optimism about the economic outlook against the recent surge in coronavirus cases around the world.

Recent data has shown some signs of slowing economic growth, but traders may see that as further proof the Federal Reserve will not begin scaling back stimulus anytime soon.

The Federal Reserve's has repeatedly pledged to maintain its asset purchases at current levels until "substantial further progress" has been made toward its maximum employment and price stability goals.

Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank is a "ways away" from altering policy, noting there is still "some ground to cover on the labor market side."

The Fed's asset purchase program has helped prop up the markets throughout much of the pandemic, with stocks continuing to reach record highs despite the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown a jump in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. in recent weeks, with the seven-day moving average of new cases reaching 72,790 last Friday, surpassing the peak seen last summer.

However, the increase has also seeming led to more Americans getting vaccinated, with the CDC saying 70 percent of U.S. adults have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Sector News

Oil producer stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, driving the NYSE Arca Oil Index up by 2.3 percent.

The strength in the oil sector comes despite a continued decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for September delivery is down $0.58 at $70.67 a barrel but well off its worst levels.

Significant strength has also emerged among natural gas stocks, which are moving higher along with the price of their associated commodity. The NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is currently up by 1.6 percent.

Steel, banking and pharmaceutical stocks have also moved notably higher on the day, while airline stocks continue to see significant weakness.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and China's Shanghai Composite Index both fell by 0.5 percent, although South Korea's Kospi bucked the downtrend and climbed by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 1.172 percent.

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