Nasdaq, S&P 500 Reach New Record Intraday Highs In Morning Trading

Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Thursday following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages are all firmly in positive territory. The Dow is up 285.42 points or 0.8 percent at 34,159.66, the Nasdaq is up 134.37 points or 0.9 percent at 14,406.11 and the S&P 500 is up 28.62 points or 0.7 percent at 4,270.46.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders look to get back into action after taking a breather on Wednesday, when the major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The advance on the day reflects a resumption of the upward momentum seen earlier in the week, which helped lift the Dow well off its lowest levels in over two months.

After a brief setback last week, optimism that the Federal Reserve will not prematurely begin tightening monetary policy seems to have led to renewed buying interest.

Positive sentiment may also have been generated in reaction to a Labor Department report showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 19th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 411,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 418,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 380,000 from the 412,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods rebounded in the month of May.

The report said durable goods orders surged up by 2.3 percent in May after falling by a revised 0.8 percent in April.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to spike by 2.7 percent compared to the 1.3 percent slump that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.3 percent in May after jumping by 1.7 percent in April. Ex-transportation orders were expected to increase by 0.7 percent.

Pharmaceutical stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index up by 1.6 percent.

Eli Lilly (LLY) has helped lead the sector higher, spiking by 9.4 percent after the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for donanemab, the drug maker’s investigational antibody therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Significant strength has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain being posted by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Biotechnology and software stocks are also seeing notable strength in morning trading, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and China’s Shanghai Composite Index both ended the day nearly flat.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are nearly unchanged after ending the previous session modestly lower. 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 1.484 percent.

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