After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks are seeing continued strength in mid-day trading on Thursday. With the upward move on the day, the major averages have once again reached new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages continue to hover in positive territory. The Dow is up 62.45 points or 0.3 percent at 21,773.46, the Nasdaq is up 32.75 points or 0.5 percent at 6,455.50 and the S&P 500 is up 4.66 points or 0.2 percent at 2,482.49.

The strength on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news from several big-name companies.

Shares of Verizon (VZ) have shown a strong move to the upside after the telecom giant reported second quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates on better than expected revenues.

Social media giant Facebook (FB) is also seeing considerable strength after reporting second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Gilead Sciences (GILD), PayPal (PYPL) and Comcast (CMCSA) have also moved to the upside after reporting quarterly results.

On the other hand, shares of Twitter (TWTR) have come under pressure after the company reported better than expected second quarter results but flat user numbers.

Buying interest has also been generated in reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing a substantial increase in durable goods orders in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders spiked by 6.5 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to surge up by 3.0 percent compared to the 1.1 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a jump in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in June after climbing by 0.6 percent in May. Ex-transportation orders had been expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims rose by more than expected in the week ended July 22nd.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 241,000.

Sector News

With Verizon leading the way higher, telecom stocks are seeing significant strength in mid-day trading. The NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index is climbing by 1.4 percent to its best intraday level in over a month.

Considerable strength is also visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. The index is on pace to end the session at a sixteen-year closing high.

On the other hand, airline stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 2.9 percent. Earlier in the session, the index hit its lowest intraday level in over three months.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) is posting a notable loss despite reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Railroad, trucking, and gold stocks are also seeing notable weakness, limiting the upside for the broader .

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.8 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing notable weakness following the strength seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.3 basis points at 2.325 percent.

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