The major averages moved roughly sideways in afternoon trading, hovering firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 91.26 points or 0.6% to 16,651.80, the Nasdaq jumped 44.87 points or 1% to 4,434.13 and the S&P 500 advanced 12.97 points or 0.7% to 1,946.72.
The strength on
Core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, and building materials, inched up by just 0.1% in July following a downwardly revised 0.5% increase in June.
While the data suggests that spending in the third quarter got off to a slow start, the report also offset some of the recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates.
"The deceleration in growth also suggests that we should expect a moderation in ISM indices for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing over the coming 3-4 months," he added. "This may ease the pressure a little bit on the Fed."
The markets also benefited from easing geopolitical concerns despite the ongoing conflicts in
However, it is worth noting that the extent of the buying interest may have been exaggerated by below average trading volume.
Biotechnology stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day, driving the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index up by 2.2%. With the gain, the index ended the session at a five-month closing high.
Significant strength also emerged among defense stocks, as reflected by the 1.4% gain posted by the Philadelphia Defense Sector Index.
Commercial real estate stocks also turned in a strong performance, resulting in a 1.4% gain by the Morgan Stanley REIT Index. The gain lifted the index further off the one-month closing low set last Thursday.
Healthcare, internet, and software stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.4%, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8% and the
In the bond market, treasuries moved moderately higher amid the easing interest rate concerns. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.9 basis points to a one-year closing low of 2.413%.
Trading on Thursday may be impacted by reaction to earnings news from
Economic news may also attract some attention, with traders likely to keep an eye on reports on weekly jobless claims and import and export prices.
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