U.S. Stocks Mostly Higher As Data Eases Interest Rate Concerns

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday, extending the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a standout gain.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but still in positive territory. The Nasdaq is up 161.27 points or 1.2 percent at 13,866.40, the S&P 500 is up 30.11 points or 0.7 percent at 4,463.42 and the Dow is up 71.59 points or 0.2 percent at 34,631.57.

The strength on Wall Street comes as the latest batch of U.S. economic data has helped ease recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. deteriorated by much more than anticipated in the month of August, according to a report released by the Conference Board.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index tumbled to 106.1 in August from a downwardly revised 114.0 in July.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to edge down to 116.5 from the 117.0 originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed job openings in the U.S. decreased to 8.8 million on the last business day of July.

Telecom stocks are seeing significant strength on the day, resulting in a 1.8 percent gain by the NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index.

AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are posting notable gains after Citi upgraded their ratings on both telecom giants to Buy.

Considerable strength is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent advance by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Airline, networking and computer hardware stocks are also seeing notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.2 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has surged by 1.7 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.8 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved higher, adding to the gains posted on Monday. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price is down by 6.5 basis points at 4.147 percent.

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