After moving sharply higher at the open, stocks have seen some further upside over the course of the first half-hour of trading on Thursday. The major averages have moved firmly into positive territory, with the Dow climbing back above the 8,000 level.

Banking stocks are helping to lead the way higher on the heels of strong guidance from Wells Fargo (WFC). Housing, steel, and transportation stocks are also posting standout gains, as traders react to some better than expected economic data.

The major averages have continued to move higher in the past few minutes, once again reaching new highs for the young session. The Dow is currently up 182.07 at 8,019.18, the Nasdaq is up 41.87 at 1,632.53 and the S&P 500 is up 22.79 at 847.95.

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