After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks are seeing further upside in morning trading on Thursday. The major averages have all climbed firmly into positive territory.
Currently, the major averages are hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 453.32 points or 1.4 percent at 32,573.60, the Nasdaq is up 214.55 points or 1.9 percent at 11,648.29 and the S&P 500 is up 61.44 points or 1.5 percent at 4,040.17.
The strength on Wall Street comes as traders continue to pick up stocks at relatively reduced levels following recent weakness.
The major averages have recently fallen to their lowest levels in over a year, but traders seem to be expressing some optimism that the markets have finally found a bottom.
Other recent bargain hunting efforts have fallen short, however, as worries about inflation, interest rates and the global economy continue to hang over stocks.
Adding to the positive sentiment, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits pulled back by more than expected in the week ended May 21st.
The report showed initial jobless claims dipped to 210,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 218,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 215,000.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed economic activity in the U.S. slumped by slightly more than previously estimated in the first quarter of 2022.
The Commerce Department said real domestic product slid by 1.5 percent in the first quarter compared to the previously reported 1.4 percent drop. Economists had expected the decrease in GDP to be revised to 1.3 percent.
The slightly bigger than expected pullback came after GDP skyrocketed by 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The National Association of Realtors also released a report showing pending home sales plummeted by much more than expected in the month of April.
NAR said its pending home sales plunged by 3.9 percent to 99.3 in April after tumbling by 1.6 percent to a revised 103.3 in March.
Economists had expected pending home sales to descend by 2.0 percent compared to the 1.2 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.
A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.
Airline stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside in morning trading, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 4.9 percent.
Significant strength is also visible among retail stocks, as reflected by the 3.1 percent spike by the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index. The index continues to rebound after ending Tuesday’s trading at a two-year closing low.
Dollar Tree (DLTR), Macy’s (M) and Dollar General (DG) are all posting standout gains after reporting better than expected quarterly results.
Housing stocks are also turning in a strong performance despite the disappointing pending home sales data, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 2.5 percent.
Semiconductor, financial and energy stocks are also seeing considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the morning. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 2.754 percent.
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