RTTNews - Stocks are seeing considerable strength in late morning trading on Tuesday, with the major averages hovering firmly in positive territory after showing a substantial turnaround earlier in the trading session. The markets have benefited from some strong consumer confidence data.

A report release by the Conference Board a half-hour after the start of trading showed that the group's reading on consumer confidence jumped to an eight month high of 54.9 in May from an upwardly revised reading of 40.8 in April.

The better than expected consumer confidence data has contributed to significant strength among retail stocks, with the S&P Retail Index currently up 3.6 percent. Kohl's (KSS) and J.C. Penney (JCP) are turning in two of the sector's best performances.

Significant strength has also emerged among real estate, transportation, and technology stocks. Housing stocks are also posting strong gains despite the release of a report showing continued weakness in housing prices in the month of March.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, holding near their best levels of the day. The Dow is currently up 162.32 at 8,439.64, the Nasdaq is up 46.02 at 1,738.03 and the S&P 500 is up 17.11 at 904.11.

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