Stocks have shown a strong upward move over the course of morning trading on Thursday, with the major averages all moving firmly into positive territory. With the rally, the Dow has climbed back above the 8,000 level for the first time in almost two months.

With traders expressing some optimism about the outlook for the economy, transportation stocks are helping to lead the way higher. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is currently up 9.7 percent, rising to its best intraday level in well over a month.

Significant strength is also visible in a variety of other sectors, reflecting broad based strength in the markets. Steel, networking, oil service, and housing stocks are posting standout gains.

On the other hand, gold stocks are bucking the uptrend by the broader markets amid a notable decrease by the price of the precious metal. The Amex Gold Bugs Index is currently down 5.3 percent, pulling back well off the six-month closing high it set on Wednesday.

The major averages have risen to new highs for the session in recent trading and are currently posting substantial gains. The Dow is currently up 276.14 at 7,037.74, the Nasdaq is up 65.30 at 1,616.90 and the S&P 500 is up 30.49 at 841.57.

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