RTTNews - Stocks moved higher at the start of trading on Tuesday, with the major averages regaining some ground after ending the previous session sharply lower. The initial strength came as traders picked up stocks at reduced levels on some positive earnings news.

Gold stocks are helping to lead the way higher in early trading, benefiting from a rebound by the price of the precious metal. Airline, housing, technology, and retail stocks are also seeing early strength, while healthcare stocks are bucking the uptrend.

The markets are benefited from some positive sentiment generated by better than expected quarterly earnings from Dow component Home Depot (HD). The home improvement retailer also raised its full year earnings guidance.

Along with Home Depot, retailers Target (TGT) and Saks (SKS) also reported better than expected quarterly results, which could contribute to early strength in the retail sector. Agilent Technologies (A) also reported better than expected adjusted third quarter earnings.

However, buying interest may be relatively subdued following the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected decrease in housing starts in the month of July, with the data likely to lead to renewed concerns about the outlook for the housing market.

The report showed that housing starts fell 1.0 percent to an annual rate of 581,000 in July from the revised June estimate of 587,000. Economists had expected starts to rise to 598,000 from the 582,000 originally reported in the previous month.

In other economic news, the Labor Department revealed that producer prices dropped 0.9 percent in July following a 1.8 percent increase in the previous month. Economists had expected the measure to slip 0.3 percent for the month.

Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy sectors, ticked down 0.1 percent in July. Economists were looking for core prices to edge up by 0.1 percent.

In the past few minutes, the major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session, although they remain in positive territory. The Dow is currently up 36.05 at 9,171.39, the Nasdaq is up 11.46 at 1,942.30 and the S&P 500 is up 4.37 at 984.10.

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