Major Averages Posting Modest Gains In Morning Trading

Stocks are seeing modest strength in morning trading on Tuesday, extending a recent upward trend. With the upward move on the day, the Dow has reached a new record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are just above the unchanged line. The Dow is up 19.35 points or 0.1 percent at 22,350.70, the Nasdaq is up 4.19 points or 0.1 percent at 6,458.83 and the S&P 500 is up 1.38 points or 0.1 percent at 2,505.25.

The strength on Wall Street reflects recent upward momentum, with traders shrugging off a recent batch of disappointing economic data.

Trading activity is somewhat subdued, however, as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will be looking for clues about the outlook for monetary policy.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected decrease in new residential construction in the month of August.

The report said housing starts fell by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.180 million in August from a revised 1.190 million in July. Economists had expected housing starts to jump by 1.7 percent.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed increases in U.S. import and export prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said imports prices climbed by 0.6 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.4 percent.

The report said export prices also rose by 0.6 percent in August following a 0.5 percent increase in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although strength is visible among telecom and brokerage stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are up by 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction ahead of tomorrow’s announcement by the Fed. Subsequently, the yield on the…

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