Stocks have come off their highs of the day during late morning trading on Thursday, but remain well above the unchanged line.

Banking and housing stocks are leading the advance, with the Kbw Bank Index up 10.7 percent and the Philadelphia Housing Index up 6.7 percent.

Meanwhile, tobacco and pharmaceutical stocks are some of the worst performers of the day. However, the Amex Tobacco Index and the Amex Pharmaceutical Index are suffering only modest losses, down 0.6 percent each.

Currently, the Dow is up 179.12 at 8,016.23, the Nasdaq is up 46.06 at 1,636.72, and the S&P 500 is up 22.26 at 847.42.

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