After showing a strong upward move in early trading on Monday, stocks continue to turn in a strong performance in the late morning. The major averages have moved sharply higher, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reaching three-month intraday highs.

The strength in the markets comes as traders react to the latest batch of better than expected economic data, including a report from the National Association of Realtors showing a surprise jump in pending home sales.

A positive reaction to the data has contributed to strength in a variety of sectors, with significant strength visible among banking, transportation, and housing stocks. The gains by banking stocks come in spite of some concerns about the need for banks to raise additional capital.

While most of the other major sectors are also moving sharply higher, some health insurance and biotechnology stocks are posting notable losses. Among biotech stocks, shares of Human Genome Sciences are currently down 6.5 percent.

The major averages have moved off their best levels of the day in recent trading, although they remain firmly positive. The Dow is currently up 183.27 at 8,395.68, the Nasdaq is up 28.89 at 1,748.09 and the S&P 500 is up 19.05 at 896.57.

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