Stocks moved higher early in the session on Thursday and have seen further upside over the course of the trading day. With the upward move, the major averages are adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are just off their highs of the session. The Dow is up 193.26 points or 0.8 percent at 24,735.80, the Nasdaq is up 51.54 points or 0.7 percent at 7,391.45 and the S&P 500 is up 20.70 points or 0.8 percent at 2,718.49.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a Labor Department report showing a slightly smaller than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of April.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in April after edging down by 0.1 percent in March. Economists had expected consumer prices to climb by 0.3 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices inched up by 0.1 percent in April after rising by 0.2 percent in the previous month. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the smaller than expected increase in core prices suggests that the recent surge in underlying inflation is fading.

"Even so, core inflation on the Fed's preferred PCE measure has still accelerated faster than Fed officials anticipated just a few months ago, which will keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates again in June," Pearce said.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims unexpectedly came in unchanged in the week ended May 5th.

The report said initial jobless claims came in at 211,000, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised level. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 218,000.

Sector News

Steel stocks are seeing considerable strength in mid-day trading, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index jumping by 1.9 percent. The index has reached its best intraday level in over two months.

Significant strength is also visible among telecom stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Telecom Index.

Within the telecom sector, Qualcomm (QCOM) is posting a strong gain after announcing a new $10 billion stock repurchase.

Gold, tobacco, and healthcare stocks are also seeing notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after trending lower over the past few sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.5 basis points at 2.979 percent.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

Market AnalysisBB

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