RTTNews - Stocks moved sharply higher at the start of trading on Thursday, with the major averages moving back to the upside after seeing some consolidation in recent sessions. The initial strength reflects a positive reaction to the latest earnings and economic news.

While the Labor Department released a report showing that first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended July 25th came in above the average analyst estimate, there were some concerns that jobless claims could have come in substantially higher.

Metal stocks are seeing considerable strength in early trading, moving back to the upside along with metal prices. Early strength is also visible in a variety of other sectors, with semiconductor, banking, and telecom stocks posting notable gains.

The major averages are currently posting strong gains, just off their highs for the young session. The Dow is currently up 81.09 at 9,151.81, the Nasdaq is up 23.19 at 1,990.95 and the S&P 500 is up 11.44 at 986.59.

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