Nasdaq Continues To Post Substantial Gain But Dow Remains Modestly Lower

Stocks moved to the upside early in the session on Thursday and remain mostly higher in afternoon trading. The Nasdaq has shown a particularly strong upward move, reflecting strength in the tech sector.

The Nasdaq reached a new high for the session in recent trading and is currently up 218.01 points or 1.8 percent at 12,702.17. The S&P 500 is also up 37.50 points or 0.9 percent at 4,152.74, while the narrower Dow has bucked the uptrend and edged down 45.15 points or 0.1 percent to 32,754.77.

The rebound on Wall Street partly reflects a positive reaction to earnings news from Nvidia (NVDA), with the chipmaker soaring by 26.8 percent to a record intraday high.

Nvidia is spiking after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results and forecasting fiscal second quarter revenue well above analyst estimates.

The news has contributed to a rally by semiconductor stocks, resulting in a 6.4 percent surge by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The index has reached its best intraday level in over a year.

Industry giant Intel (INTC) is bucking the uptrend, however, tumbling by 6.2 percent and contributing to the modest drop by the Dow.

Software and computer hardware stocks are also seeing significant strength, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index 3.5 percent and 3.1 percent.

On the other hand, energy stocks have moved sharply lower the day, with a steep drop by the price of crude oil weighing on the sector.

With crude for July delivery plunging $2.65 to $71.69 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2.3percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 2.1 percent.

Tobacco, gold and telecom stocks have also shown notable moves to the downside, partly offsetting the strength in the tech sector.

Meanwhile, traders are keeping an eye on any developments in the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations amid lingering concerns about a potential default.

Reflecting the default concerns, Fitch Ratings placed the United States “AAA” credit on “rating watch negative,” signaling downside risks to U.S. creditworthiness.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 1.9 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell by 0.5 percent, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and rose by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index declined by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have slid firmly into negative territory over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 7.5 basis points at 3.794 percent.

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