By RTT News,
August 18, 2014, 10:26:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Stocks have moved notably higher in early trading on Monday, extending the strong upward move that was seen last week. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory, with the Nasdaq reaching a fourteen-year intraday high.
Currently, the major averages are posting strong gains, near their highs for the young session. The Dow is up 141.35 points or 0.9 percent at 16,804.26, the Nasdaq is up 34.36 points or 0.8 percent at 4,499.29 and the S&P 500 is up 14.33 points or 0.7 percent at 1,969.39.
The early strength on Wall Street is largely due to easing geopolitical concerns amid news that officials from Ukraine and Russia met to discuss a possible truce.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Berlin, with Klimkin saying the talks had brought "moderate progress."
The easing worries about the conflict in Ukraine have led to a rally by stocks in Europe, adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street.
On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Home Builders recently released a report showing an unexpected improvement in homebuilder confidence in the month of August.
The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index climbed to a reading of 55 in August from 53 in July. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.
With the unexpected increase, the housing market index rose to its highest level since reaching a reading of 56 in January.
Airline stocks are turning in some of the market's best performances in early trading, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.8 percent. American Airlines ( AAL ) and United Continental ( UAL ) are posting notable gains.
Housing, railroad, and defense stocks are also seeing considerable strength, 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 Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index both ended the day only just above the unchanged line.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have shown strong moves to the upside. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has advanced by 0.8 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 1.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are giving back some ground after ending the previous session notably higher. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3 basis points at 2.375 percent.
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