U.S. Stocks Seeing Modest Strength, Adding To Last Week's Strong Gains

Stocks are seeing modest strength during trading on Monday, adding to the substantial gains posted last week. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the Dow reaching its best intraday level in well over a month.

Currently, the major averages are hovering in positive territory. The Dow is up 56.07 points or 0.2 percent at 34,117.39, the Nasdaq is up 40.74 points or 0.3 percent at 13,519.02 and the S&P 500 is up 7.04 points or 0.2 percent at 4,365.38.

The modest strength on Wall Street comes as traders continue to express optimism about the outlook for interest rates.

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement last Wednesday combined with softer than expected jobs data last Friday has led to optimism that the central bank is done raising interest rates.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicates the Fed is likely to leave rates unchanged in the coming months until potentially cutting rates in mid-2024.

Trading activity remains somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Several Fed officials, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, are due to speak in the coming days, while traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on the U.S. trade deficit, initial jobless claims and consumer sentiment.

Sector News

Steel stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 1.6 percent.

Considerable strength is also visible among pharmaceutical stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index.

On the other hand, airline stocks have moved sharply lower, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 2.0 percent.

Commercial real estate stocks have also shown a notable move to the downside, with the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index falling by 1.6 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved notably higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged by 2.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi spiked by 5.7 percent.

Meanwhile, most European stocks have moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index nearly unchanged, the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher over the past few sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 8.3 basis points at 4.641 percent.

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