U.S. Stocks Mostly Positive In Morning Trading

Stocks gave back ground after an initial move to the upside but remain mostly positive in morning trading on Wednesday. With the advance, the major averages are more than offsetting the modest losses posted in the previous session.

Currently, the Dow is up 175.56 points or 0.8 percent at 22,829.42, the Nasdaq is up 61.78 points or 0.8 percent at 7,949.04 and the S&P 500 is up 22.17 points or 0.8 percent at 2,681.58.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders continue to express optimism that some of the counties hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic are flattening the infection curve.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. have reached nearly 400,000, the most in the world.

However, the latest data from the university also shows that the number of new cases has decreased in recent days after reaching a peak last Friday.

The number of new coronavirus cases has also recently shown significant downturns in Italy and Spain, which currently have the most confirmed cases in Europe.

Adding to the positive sentiment, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Fox News the U.S. could see the “beginning of a turnaround” after a “bad week for deaths” this week.

Fauci noted deaths are a lagging indicator and pointed to the decrease in the number of new cases and a lower rate of hospitalizations.

Buying interest appears somewhat subdued, however, as some analysts have warned that the rebound from last month’s lows has been overdone.

The Dow has spiked by more than 20 percent since reaching a more than three-year closing low on March 23rd, although some analysts think traders are underestimating the long-term economic impact of the outbreak.

Later in the trading session, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes of its March meetings.

The minutes may shed additional lights on last month’s emergency interest rate cuts as well as the central bank’s unlimited expansion of its asset purchases.

Oil services stocks are seeing considerable strength on the day, benefiting from a rebound by the price of crude oil. With crude for May delivery jumping $1.44 to $25.07 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 3.8 percent.

Significant strength is also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.

Computer hardware, commercial real estate and banking stocks have also shown notable moves to the upside, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1.1 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 0.731 percent.

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