While stocks have shown some uncertainty over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, the markets are seeing notable strength in the early afternoon. The gains come as traders respond to some mixed corporate and economic news and await the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

On the economic front, wholesale inventories fell by much more than economists had been expecting in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department, although the report also showed an increase in wholesale sales.

The report showed that wholesale inventories fell 1.5 percent in February following a revised decrease of 0.9 percent in January. Economists had expected inventories to fall by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.7 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.

At the same time, the Commerce Department said that wholesale sales edged up 0.6 percent in February following a 2.4 percent decrease in January. The increase in sales came on the heels of seven consecutive monthly decreases.

Separately, the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed that its index of mortgage application volume rose 4.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week of April 3rd following a 3 percent increase in the previous week.

In recent trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has risen to a new high for the session and is currently up 26.49 at 1,588.10. The Dow is posting a more modest gain, up 49.30 at 7,838.86, while the S&P 500 is up 8.24 at 823.79.

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