Stocks have turned higher over the course of morning trading on Thursday after initially moving to the downside. The major averages have climbed into positive territory following the sell-off that was seen in the previous session.
Currently, the major averages are hovering near their best levels of the day. The Dow is up 48.40 points or 0.2 percent at 20,655.33, the Nasdaq is up 38.87 points or 0.7 percent at 6,050.10 and the S&P 500 is up 7.94 points or 0.3 percent at 2,364.97.
The turnaround by stocks may be partly due to bargain hunting after the initial decline 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.
Wal-Mart (WMT) has helped to lead the Dow back to the upside, with the retail giant climbing by 1.9 percent after reporting better than expected first quarter earnings.
A steep drop by Cisco Systems (CSCO) is limiting the advance by the blue chip index, however, as the networking giant is tumbling by 7.3 percent after reporting better than expected fiscal third quarter results but providing disappointing guidance.
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 1.6 percent following the 4.4 percent drop seen…