After turning higher earlier in the session, stocks remain mostly positive in mid-day trading on Thursday. The strength on the day comes on the heels of the sell-off that was seen in the previous session, when stocks saw their worst day in months.
The major averages have pulled back off their best levels of the day but remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 34.85 points or 0.2 percent at 20,641.78, the Nasdaq is up 28.92 points or 0.5 percent at 6,040.16 and the S&P 500 is up 5.39 points or 0.2 percent at 2,362.42.
Bargain hunting has contributed to the strength on Wall Street after the weakness seen early in the day pulled the major averages down to their lowest intraday levels in almost a month.
Traders may feel yesterday’s sell-off was overdone amid lingering optimism President Donald Trump can implement his pro-business policy agenda despite recent political turmoil.
In the latest developments in Washington, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as Special Counsel to oversee an investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.
Rosenstein said public interest requires him to place the investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.
The move comes on the heels of reports Trump asked former FBI Director Comey to drop a federal investigation into links between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.
The rebound on Wall Street also comes following the release of some upbeat economic data, with a report from the Labor Department showing another unexpected drop in initial jobless claims in the week ended May 13th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 232,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 236,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 240,000.
A separate report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed that regional manufacturing activity has unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in the month of May.
The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 38.8 in May from 22.0 in April, with a positive reading indicating growth. The index had been expected to dip to 19.5.
The Conference Board also released a report showing that its index of leading economic indicators rose by 0.3 percent in April, matching expectations.
After turning in some of the market’s worst performances in the previous session, semiconductor stocks are regaining ground. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is rising by 1.1 percent following the 4.4 percent drop seen on Wednesday.
Within the semiconductor sector, Qorvo (QRVO), Analog Devices (ADI), and Nvidia (NVDA) are posting standout gains in mid-day trading.
Trucking stocks are also rebounding after falling sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Trucking Index climbing by 1.2 percent. The index is bouncing off its lowest closing level in six months.