Stocks moved higher at the start of trading on Wednesday, with the major averages regaining some ground after closing lower in the two previous sessions. The initial strength was partly due to some positive news out of the housing sector.

Housing stocks are turning in some of the best performances in early trading, as traders respond to news of Pulte Home's (PHM) $1.3 billion acquisition of Centex (CTX) as well as a report showing a notable increase in mortgage applications.

A variety of other sectors are also seeing early strength, with some real estate, networking, health insurance, and computer hardware stocks posting strong gains. On the other hand, oil and natural gas stocks are bucking the uptrend.

The major averages have seen some further upside in the past few minutes, rising to new highs for the session. The Dow is currently up 42.77 at 7,832.33, the Nasdaq is up 21.89 at 1,583.50 and the S&P 500 is up 6.87 at 822.42.

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