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Stocks Seeing Modest Strength In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary


Stocks have moved moderately higher in morning trading on Monday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached their best intraday levels in well over four months.

The major averages have pulled back off their highs of the session but currently remain positive. The Dow is up 38.32 points or 0.2 percent at 26,064.64, the Nasdaq is up 33.77 points or 0.4 percent at 7,629.12 and the S&P 500 is up 9.65 points or 0.4 percent at 2,813.34.

The strength on Wall Street comes after reports from multiple sources said the U.S. and China are in the final stage of negotiations on a long-term trade deal.

A major trade deal between the U.S. and China would likely provide a major boost to the global economy and remove significant uncertainty recently hanging over the markets.

A report from the Wall Street Journal said China is offering to lower tariffs and other restrictions on American products, while the U.S. is considering removing most, if not all, sanctions levied against Chinese products since last year.

People briefed on the matter cautioned that hurdles remain and each side faces possible resistance at home that the terms are too favorable.

Reports said President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are planning to meet later this month to finalize the agreement.

Buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders may be waiting for more concrete developments on the trade front.

Traders may also be wary of making more significant moves ahead of the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Extending the strong upward move seen last Friday, oil service stocks are seeing significant strength in morning trading. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.5 percent.

The strength among oil service stocks comes amid a rebound by the price of crude oil, with crude for April delivery jumping $1.03 to $56.83 a barrel after tumbling $1.42 to $55.80 a barrel in the previous session.

Banking and housing stocks have also moved notably higher on the day, while gold stocks are under pressure amid another steep drop by the price of the precious metal.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction after trending lower over the past few sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.751 percent.

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