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Stocks Seeing Volatility But Remain Mostly Positive - U.S. Commentary


Stocks have seen some volatility in morning trading on Tuesday but remain mostly positive after an initial move to the upside. The major averages are all in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is outperforming its counterparts.

Currently the Nasdaq is posting a substantial gain, jumping 75.31 points or 1.1 percent to 6,981.22. The Dow is up 38.38 points or 0.2 percent at 23,948.22 and the S&P 500 is up 15.25 points or 0.6 percent at 2,597.86.

The Nasdaq is benefiting from a significant advance by shares of Netflix (NFLX), with the video streaming giant surging up by 5.7 percent.

The jump by Netflix comes after the company revealed the biggest increase in subscription prices launching its service twelve years ago.

Tech giant Apple (AAPL) is also posting a notable gain on news a German court has thrown out a parent lawsuit filed against the company by chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM).

Meanwhile, traders are also digesting mixed earnings news from financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

JPMorgan reported fourth quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates on weaker than expected bond-trading revenue, while Wells Fargo reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings but its revenues for the quarter came in below expectations.

Comments from Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, indicating that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saw "little progress" in last week's trade talks between the U.S. and China is also impacting trading.

On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest decrease in producer prices in the month of December,

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand dipped by 0.2 percent in December after inching up by 0.1 percent in November. Economists had expected prices to slip by 0.1 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices edged down by 0.1 percent in December after climbing by 0.3 percent in November. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed New York manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in over a year in the month of January.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index slumped to 3.9 in January after tumbling to a revised 11.5 in December.

A positive reading still indicates growth, although economists had expected the index to show a much more modest decrease to 10.8.

Software stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Software Index up by 1.7 percent to its best intraday level in a month.

Biotechnology, healthcare, and networking stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while notable weakness is visible among chemical stocks.

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 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 2 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have once again pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing initial 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 2.709 percent.

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