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Major Averages Holding On To Moderate Gains In Mid-Day Trading - U.S. Commentary


After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Tuesday. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory following the mixed performance seen in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but holding on to moderate gains. The Dow is up 111.46 points or 0.4 percent at 25,573.16, the Nasdaq is up 31.56 points or 0.4 percent at 7,360.41 and the S&P 500 is up 9.53 points or 0.4 percent at 2,747.84.

The strength on Wall Street comes as stocks continue to recover from the sell-off seen in October, which was one of the worst months for the markets in years.

However, traders seem reluctant to make more significant moves amid uncertainty about the outcome of today's highly anticipated midterm elections.

The elections will decide control of both the House and the Senate and could have a major impact on President Donald Trump's ability to enact his pro-business agenda.

Democrats are seen with an easier path to retaking the House than the Senate but could still be a significant thorn in Trump's side with control of just the lower chamber.

Traders also continue to look ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, with the Fed due to announce is latest decision on Thursday.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will keep a close eye on the accompanying statement for clues about an expected rate hike in December.

Sector News

Despite the advance by the broader markets, natural gas stocks are giving back ground after moving sharply higher in the previous session.

After surging up by 4 percent on Monday, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is down by 1.2 percent amid a pullback by the price of natural gas.

Tobacco and gold stocks have also moved to the downside on the day, while some strength is visible among semiconductor and transportation stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly lower over the course of the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.3 basis points at 3.214 percent.

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