After an early move to the downside, stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Wednesday. Tech stocks have helped to lead the turnaround, resulting in a notable surge by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Currently, the major averages are all in positive territory, with the Nasdaq outperforming its counterparts. While the Nasdaq is up 169.79 points or 1.5 percent at 11,882.94, the S&P 500 is up 24.27 points or 0.6 percent at 3,960.96 and the narrower Dow is up 34.41 points or 0.1 percent at 31,861.46.
The strength among tech stocks partly reflects a positive reaction to earnings news from Netflix (NFLX), with the streaming giant jumping by 3.6 percent to a nearly three-month intraday high.
The advance by Netflix comes after the company reported better than expected second quarter earnings and a smaller than expected subscriber loss.
The surge by the Nasdaq also reflects strength among semiconductor and computer hardware stocks, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index and the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index jumping by 1.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
Considerable strength has also emerged among retail stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent advance by the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index. With the gain, the index has reached its best intraday level in well over a month.
Airline stocks are also extending the strong upward move seen in the previous session, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.2 percent.
On the other hand, oil service stocks have moved to the downside on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 1.3 percent.
Baker Hughes (BKR) is leading the sector lower after the oil services company reported weaker than expected second quarter results.
In U.S. economic news, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales tumbled by much more than expected in the month of June.
NAR said existing home sales plunged by 5.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.12 million in June after slumping by 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.41 million in May. Economists had expected existing home sales to decrease by 0.6 percent to a rate of 5.38 million.
Existing home sales declined for the fifth consecutive month, falling to their lowest level since June of 2020.
“Falling housing affordability continues to take a toll on potential home buyers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Both mortgage rates and home prices have risen too sharply in a short span of time.”
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 2.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, European stocks have fluctuated over the course of the session and are currently seeing modest weakness. While the German DAX Index is down by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have given back ground after moving higher in early trading. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 3.004 percent after hitting a low of 2.943 percent.
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