Led higher by gains in the financial and consumer sectors, the major market averages were all trading with sizable gains at midday on Wednesday with the Nasdaq Composite outperforming thanks to bargain-hunting in the beaten-down tech sector.
Stocks were cautiously higher before the open until a sizable uptrade was set in motion by assurances from the European Central Bank that Mario Draghi's hawkish remarks on Tuesday -- which sent the euro to a one-year high and EU bond yields surging -- were "misjudged" by global financial markets. As a result of ECB jawboning, the euro retreated and equities shot higher, fueled by bottom-fishing in tech stocks.
Economic data had little impact on trade this morning even as the pending home sales index fell 0.8% in May, well below expectations for a gain of 0.5%.
The U.S.'s international trade in goods narrowed to $65.9 billion from a revised deficit of $67.1 billion, beating expectations for a deficit of $66.0 billion.
Crude oil was up $0.40 to $44.64 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.03 to $3.10 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $2.00 to $1,248.80 an ounce, while silver was up $0.18 to $16.83 an ounce. Copper was up $0.01 to $2.67 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.92% to $9.19 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 1.02% to $6.91. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.22% to 22.31 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.03% to $118.78. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.57% to $15.88.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 105.11 points (+0.89%) to 11,821.63
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 155.26 points (+0.73%) to 21,465.58
S&P 500 was up 19.45 points (+0.80%) to 2,438.57
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 59.23 points (+0.96%) to 6,205.91
FTSE 100 was down 46.56 points (-0.63%) to 7,387.80
DAX was down 23.75 points (-0.19%) to 12,647.27
CAC 40 was down 5.68 points (-0.11%) to 5,252.90
Nikkei 225 was down 94.68 points (-0.47%) to 20,130.41
Hang Seng Index was down 156.49 points (-0.61%) to 25,683.50
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 18.00 (-0.56%) to 3,173.20
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 83.75 points (+0.84%) to 10,101.75
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 97.91 points (+1.33%) to 7,467.26
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 57.20 points (+0.41%) to 13,892.88
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