Tech-Heavy Nasdaq Remains Sharply Higher In Afternoon Trading

(RTTNews) – After an early move to the upside, stocks remain mostly positive in the afternoon trading on Monday. The major averages are extending the strong upward move seen last Friday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the way higher.

In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Dow is up 189.61 points or 0.6 percent at 34,915.08, the Nasdaq is up 337.16 points or 2.5 percent at 14,107.73 and the S&P 500 is up 53.22 points or 1.2 percent at 4,485.07.

The strength on Wall Street comes as traders continue to pick up tech stocks at reduced levels, with the Nasdaq bouncing further off the eight-month closing low set last Thursday.

Positive analyst comments are also contributing to the strength in the tech sector, with Netflix (NFLX), Tesla (TSLA) and Spotify (SPOT) all posting strong gains following upgrades.

Netflix and Spotify were both upgraded to Buy from Neutral by Citi, while Credit Suisse raised its rating on Tesla’s stock to Outperform from Neutral.

Meanwhile, traders are also looking ahead to the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Economists currently expect employment to increase by 155,000 jobs in January after rising by 199,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.9 percent.

The strength of the monthly jobs data could impact expectations regarding how fast the Federal Reserve will raise rates from near-zero levels in an effort to fight inflation.

Reports on manufacturing and service sector may also attract attention in the coming days along with preliminary data on labor productivity and costs in the fourth quarter.

Sector News

Airline stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 4.4 percent.

Substantial strength also remains visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent spike by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

The index continues to regain ground after hitting its lowest intraday level in over six months before rebounding last Friday.

The strength in the tech sector also reflects significant advances by networking, biotechnology and computer hardware stocks.

Gold, retail and brokerage stocks are also turning in strong performances on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, with the Chinese and South Korean markets closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both jumped by 1.1 percent.

Most European stocks also moved to the upside on the day. While the UK’s FTSE 100 Index closed marginally lower, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index shot up by 1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing early strength. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.789 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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