U.S. Stocks Off Best Levels But Remain Firmly Positive

Stocks showed a strong move to the upside early in the session on Thursday and remain mostly higher in afternoon trading. With the upward move, the major averages are partly offsetting the sell-off seen earlier in the week.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but remain firmly positive. The Dow is up 202.53 points or 0.6 percent at 33,800.45, the Nasdaq is up 129.91 points or 1.2 percent at 11,088.47 and the S&P 500 is up 30.99 points or 0.8 percent at 3,964.91.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels following the sell-off seen to start the week, which reflected concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the economy.

The advance by the S&P 500 comes after the index closed lower for five consecutive sessions, pulling back well off the more than two-month closing high set last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, traders continue to look ahead to Friday’s release of the Labor Department’s report on producer price inflation in November.

Economists expect producer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent in November after rising by 0.2 percent in October, while the annual rate of growth is expected to slow to 7.4 percent from 8.0 percent.

The University of Michigan is also due to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of December on Friday. The report includes readings on inflation expectations that could impact the outlook for interest rates.

Traders will be looking for signs of a slowdown in inflation as well as reduction in inflation expectations amid concerns the Federal Reserve will be need to push the economy into a prolonged recession in order to bring inflation down close to its 2 percent target.

The Labor Department released a report this morning showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly higher in the week ended December 3rd.

The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 230,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 226,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 230,000 from the 225,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Sector News

Networking stocks continue to see substantial strength on the day, with the NYSE Arca Networking Index soaring by 4.1 percent.

Ciena (CIEN) has helped lead the rally, spiking by 20.3 percent after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results and forecasting “outsized” revenue growth in 2023.

Significant strength also remains visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.4 percent jump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Computer hardware stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 1.7 percent.

Steel, tobacco and commercial real estate stocks are also seeing notable strength, while some weakness has emerged among airline and natural gas stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 3.4 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks moved modestly lower on the day. While the German DAX Index closed nearly unchanged, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 7.4 basis points at 3.482 percent.

Source: Read Full Article