U.S. Stocks Holding On To Strong Gains After Early Rally

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Stocks continue to see substantial strength in afternoon trading on Tuesday after showing a significant move to the upside early in the session. With the upward move, the major averages are extending the rally seen in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 510.57 points or 1.5 percent at 35,737.60, the Nasdaq is up 480.42 points or 3.2 percent at 15,705.57 and the S&P 500 is up 98.16 points or 2.1 percent at 4,689.83.

Easing concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have contributed to the continued strength on Wall Street.

Indications the variant causes milder symptoms has helped offset worries the new strain could derail the global economic recovery.

Uncertainty about Omicron led to substantial volatility in the markets last week, with the major averages hitting their lowest levels in well over a month.

With the major averages still well off their recent highs, traders continue to use the recent weakness as an opportunity to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels.

Intel (INTC) has helped lead the rally on Wall Street, as the semiconductor giant is jumping by 4.1 percent on the day.

The spike by Intel comes after the company announced its intention to take its self-driving car unit Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering.

In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing the U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly in the month of October amid a spike in the value of exports.

The report said the trade deficit decreased to $67.1 billion in October from a revised $81.4 billion in September. Economists had expected the deficit to narrow to $67.5 billion from the $80.9 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The narrower trade deficit came as the value of exports soared by 8.1 percent to $223.6 billion, while the value of imports climbed by 0.9 percent to $290.7 billion.

Sector News

With Intel helping lead the way higher, semiconductor stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day.

Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has skyrocketed by 5.2 percent to a new record intraday high.

Networking stocks also continue to see significant strength in afternoon trading, driving the NYSE Arca Networking Index up by 4.2 percent. The index has also reached a new record intraday high.

Considerable strength also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.7 percent spike by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

The rally by oil service stocks comes amid another sharp increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for January delivery surging $3.03 to $72.52 a barrel.

Software, steel, computer hardware and biotechnology stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index spiked by 2.7 percent.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index soared by 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the sharp pullback seen in the previous session. 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 1.467 percent.

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