RTTNews - After showing a strong upward move in early trading on Friday, stocks have continued to perform well over the course of the morning. The major averages have been hovering firmly in positive territory, holding near their best levels of the day.

The markets have benefited from the release of a report from the National Association of Realtors showing stronger than expected existing home sales growth as well as some cautious optimism from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Housing stocks are turning in some of the best performances following the release of the better than expected home sales data. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is currently up 3.8 percent, adding to the gains posted in the three previous sessions.

Most of the other major sectors have also moved higher over the course of the morning, with oil service, real estate, defense, and banking stocks posting notable gains.

The major averages have remained more or less rangebound in recent trading, holding onto strong gains. The Dow is currently up 133.61 at 9,483.66, the Nasdaq is up 25.57 at 2,014.79 and the S&P 500 is up 15.72 at 1,023.09.

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