After showing some uncertainty earlier in the session, stocks are posting strong gains in afternoon trading on Wednesday. The major averages have all moved firmly into positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is outperforming the Dow.

While the Nasdaq is benefiting from strong gains by networking, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks, significant strength is also visible among natural gas, retail, and oil service stocks. Meanwhile, some healthcare, housing, and banking stocks are posting notable losses.

In recent trading, the major averages have pulled back off their best levels of the day, although they are holding onto strong gains. The Dow is currently up 75.58 at 7,865.14, the Nasdaq is up 29.31 at 1,590.92 and the S&P 500 is up 10.88 at 826.43.

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