Dow, S&P 500 Climb To New Record Intraday Highs

Adding to the modest gains posted in the previous session, stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Wednesday. With the upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.

The major averages have pulled back off their best levels in recent trading but currently remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 180.83 points or 0.6 percent at 29,457.17, the Nasdaq is up 34.62 points or 0.4 percent at 9,673.57 and the S&P 500 is up 13.27 points or 0.4 percent at 3,371.02.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders seem committed to continuing to push stocks to new record highs despite concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

While China’s National Health Commission reported 2,015 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 97 additional deaths, a recent slowdown in the rate of growth in new infections has led to optimism the outbreak is being contained.

With traders consistently shrugging off concerns about the outbreak and a lack of major U.S. economic news to drive the markets, the path of least resistance for stocks still seems to be the upside.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is currently testifying before the Senate Banking Committee.

Powell’s prepared remarks mirrored those he delivered before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, although traders are still likely to keep an eye on the Q&A portion of his testimony.

In his prepared remarks, Powell said the Fed is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak but also highlighted the resilience of the U.S. economy.

Energy stocks are turning in some of the market’s best performances in morning trading, benefiting from an increase by the price of crude oil. Crude for March delivery is jumping $1.59 to $51.53 a barrel.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index has spiked by 3.1 percent, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 1.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.4 percent.

Computer hardware, steel and semiconductor 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 Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.2 basis points at 1.632 percent.

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