U.S. Stocks Remain Mostly Positive After Early Upward Move

Stocks moved mostly higher early in the session on Monday and continue to turn in a strong performance in afternoon trading. With the upward move, the Dow has once again reached its best intraday level in well over a year.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering in positive territory. The Dow is up 191.69 points or 0.5 percent at 35,419.38, the Nasdaq is up 21.09 points or 0.2 percent at 14,053.89 and the S&P 500 is up 18.66 points or 0.4 percent at 4,555.00.

The markets continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has contributed to a ten-day winning streak for the Dow.

The recent strength lifted all three major averages to their best levels in over a year last week, although the Nasdaq and S&P 500 have pulled back off their highs.

Overall trading activity has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates by another 25 basis point, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for rates.

Recent encouraging inflation data has led to optimism this week’s rate hike will be the last, and traders will be looking for confirmation from the Fed.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of several key reports in the coming days.

Sector News

Steel stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 3.2 percent to its best intraday level in over four months.

Considerable strength is also visible among energy stocks, which are moving notably higher along with the price of crude oil.

With crude for September delivery surging $1.97 to $79.04 a barrel, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 2.6 percent and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.3 percent.

Banking stocks have also shown a significant move to the upside, resulting in a 2.2 percent jump by the KBW Bank Index. With the gain, the index has reached a four-month intraday high.

Telecom and brokerage stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while biotechnology stocks have come under pressure.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.1 percent.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly lower over the course of the session after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.4 basis points at 3.851 percent.

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