RTTNews - Stocks are seeing considerable strength in late morning trading on Thursday, with the major averages hovering in positive territory after turning higher earlier in the session. The strength in the markets comes despite the release of some weak employment data.

Before the start of trading, the Labor Department released a report showing that initial jobless claims rose to rose to 627,000 in the week ended June 20th from the previous week's revised figure of 612,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 600,000.

Bargain hunting may be contributing to the strength in the markets, with many of the best performing sectors moving higher after seeing notable weakness earlier this month. Airline, retail, and housing stocks are posting notable gains.

Most of the other major sectors are also moving to the upside, with oil service stocks posting significant gains amid a notable increase by the price of crude oil. On the other hand, modest weakness remains visible among real estate and chemical stocks.

The major averages have seen some further upside in recent trading, rising to new highs for the session. The Dow is currently up 85.70 at 8,385.56, the Nasdaq is up 25.20 at 1,817.54 and the S&P 500 is up 10.52 at 911.46.

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