(RTTNews) - After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Monday. With the upward move, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has jumped to a new record intraday high, while the S&P 500 has reached its best intraday level in over five months.
Currently, the major averages are posting strong gains, not far off their highs of the session. While the Nasdaq is up 151.37 points or 1.4 percent at 10,896.65, the Dow is up 241.46 points or 0.9 percent at 26,669.78 and the S&P 500 is up 24.96 points or 0.8 percent at 3,296.08.
Technology stocks are seeing continued strength on the day after moving sharply higher last Friday on largely upbeat earnings news.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) have surged up by 4.2 percent after the software giant confirmed it is in talks to acquire Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.
The statement from Microsoft comes just days after President Donald Trump revealed plans to ban TikTok in the U.S. due to national security concerns.
Tech giant Apple (AAPL) is also extending the rally seen in the previous session, jumping by 3.1 percent after reaching a new record intraday high earlier in the session.
Adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing a bigger than expected acceleration in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of July.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 54.2 in July from 52.6 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 53.6.
"In July, manufacturing continued its recovery after the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic," said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
He added, "Panel sentiment was generally optimistic (two positive comments for every one cautious comment), continuing a trend from June."
With the bigger than expected increase, the purchasing managers index reached its highest level of expansion since March of 2019.
The better than expected reading on U.S. manufacturing activity comes on the heels of upbeat readings on manufacturing in China and Europe.
Software stocks continue to see substantial strength in mid-day trading, with Microsoft helping to lead the sector higher. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index has surged up by 2.9 percent.
Significant strength also remains visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in a month.
Semiconductor stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2 percent to a new record intraday high.
Steel, brokerage and pharmaceutical stocks are also seeing notable strength in mid-day trading, while gold stocks are seeing considerable weakness along with interest rate-sensitive commercial real estate and utilities stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2.2 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European moved sharply higher on the day. While the German DAX Index soared by 2.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index spiked by 2.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.9 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after trending higher in recent sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.2 basis points at 0.558 percent.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.