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U.S. stocks continue to rise

U.S. stocks

The Dow gained 0.6 percent at 31,118.09, the Nasdaq added 1.7 percent at 13,423.99 and the S&P 500 advanced 1.1 percent at 3,841.04

After showing a strong move to the upside early in the session, stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The advance on the day has lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages are off their highs of the session but still firmly positive. The Dow is up 187.57 points or 0.6 percent at 31,118.09, the Nasdaq is up 226.81 points or 1.7 percent at 13,423.99 and the S&P 500 is up 42.13 points or 1.1 percent at 3,841.04.

The spike by the tech-heavy Nasdaq is partly due to a sharp increase by shares of Netflix, with the video streaming giant soaring by 14.1 percent.

Netflix has reached a record intraday high after reporting strong fourth quarter subscriber growth, with total subscribers exceeding 200 million.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates, although its revenues came in better than expected and Netflix said it will explore returning cash to shareholders through ongoing stock buybacks.

Big-name companies like Procter & Gamble and Morgan Stanley also reported better than expected quarterly results, extending the positive start to earnings season.

The rally on Wall Street also comes as former Vice President Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

Biden has called for additional stimulus and an accelerated coronavirus vaccine rollout, which has helped offset concerns about higher taxes and increased regulation under a Democratic administration.

Retail stocks continue to see considerable strength in mid-day trading, with the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index surging up by 2.9 percent to its best intraday level in three months.

Significant strength has also emerged among housing stocks, as reflected by the 2.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The index has also reached a three-month intraday high.

The rally by housing stocks comes even though the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing an unexpected drop in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of January.

Software stocks also continue to see substantial strength on the day, resulting in a 2.6 percent spike by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Gold stocks have also moved sharply higher along with the price of the precious metal, while notable strength is also visible among commercial real estate and transportation stocks.

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