Stocks are holding onto strong gains in afternoon trading on Thursday, although buying interest has waned somewhat from earlier in the session. The major averages remain firmly in positive territory but have moved well off their highs.

Significant strength remains visible in a variety of sectors, with transportation, steel, networking, and housing stocks posting particularly strong gains. Oil service stocks have also moved sharply higher amid a substantial increase by the price of oil.

The major averages have moved further off their best levels in the past few minutes, but they continue to post strong gains. The Dow is currently up 265.23 at 8,026.83, the Nasdaq is up 56.75 at 1,608.35 and the S&P 500 is up 27.32 at 838.40.

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