U.S. Stocks See Further Upside Amid Downturn By Treasury Yields

After moving moderately higher early in the session, stocks have seen further upside over the course of the trading day on Monday. The major averages have all climbed firmly into positive territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the advance.

In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Nasdaq is up 150.57 points or 1.1 percent at 14,276.05, the S&P 500 is up 31.40 points or 0.7 percent at 4,545.42 and the Dow is up 204.33 points or 0.6 percent at 35,151.61.

The recent surge by the major averages comes as treasury yields have shown a notable downturn after moving higher earlier in the day.

Yields pulled back sharply after the Treasury Department revealed the results of this month’s auction of $16 billion worth of twenty-year bonds, which attracted below average demand.

Stocks also continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which comes amid ongoing optimism about the outlook for interest rates.

Recent data showing signs of easing inflation has reinforced investor expectations that the Federal Reserve will leave rates unchanged at upcoming meetings.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicates the Fed is likely to remain on hold until cutting rates beginning in mid-2004.

Potentially shedding additional light on the outlook for rates, the Fed is due to release the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.

Reports on durable goods orders, existing home sales and weekly jobless claims may also attract attention in the coming days.

However, overall trading activity this week may be somewhat subdued due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.

Sector News

Tobacco stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, with the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index soaring by 3.5 percent to its best intraday level in over three months.

Significant strength has also emerged among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent gain being posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Steel stocks also continue to turn in a strong performance in afternoon trading, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 1.4 percent.

Semiconductor, computer hardware and networking stocks have also shown notable moves to the upside, contributing to the jump by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shot up by 1.9 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable move to the upside in recent trading, jumping into positive territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.3 basis points at 4.418 percent.

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