Tech Stocks Leading Wall Street Higher In Morning Trading

Stocks have shown a strong move to the upside in morning trading on Thursday, with the Dow reaching another new record intraday high. Technology stocks have helped lead the way higher, resulting in a sharp increase by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Currently, the major averages are all posting notable gains, although the Nasdaq is outperforming its counterparts. While the Nasdaq is up 251.24 points or 1.9 percent at 13,320.07, the Dow is up 270.03 points or 0.8 percent at 32,567.05 and the S&P 500 is up 40.85 points or 1.1 percent at 3,939.66.

The advance by the Nasdaq comes amid continued bargain hunting in the tech sector, which led to the index’s biggest single-day gain since last November on Tuesday.

Prior to the spike seen on Tuesday, the Nasdaq had entered correction territory, tumbling by more than 10 percent from the record high set last month.

The markets are also benefiting from optimism about the impact of more fiscal stimulus after the House passed a $1.9 trillion relief package on Wednesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

Buying interest may also have been generated in reaction to a report from the Labor Department showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-month low in the week ended March 6th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 712,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 754,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 725,000 from the 745,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 711,000 in the week ended November 7th.

The data adds to the positive picture of the labor market painted by last week’s much better than expected monthly jobs report.

However, the report has also led to a rebound by bond yields, with the ten-year yield turning higher after seeing an early drop.

Traders have recently expressed concerns about higher yields, leading to considerable volatility on Wall Street over the past several sessions.

Extending recent volatility in the sector, semiconductor stocks have shown a substantial move back to the upside after coming under pressure in the previous session.

After slumping by 1.8 percent on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has surged up by 3.2 percent.

Networking, computer hardware and software stocks have also moved significantly higher, contributing to the jump by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Outside of the tech sector, considerable strength has also emerged among oil stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Oil Index.

The rally by oil stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for April delivery surging up $1.17 to $65.61 a barrel.

Steel, airline and biotechnology stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index spiked by 2.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have turned lower over the course of the session after seeing initial strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.5 basis points at 1.535 percent.

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