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Current Futures: Dow +138.00, S&P +14.80, NASDAQ +17.25

U.S. markets are heading up as the list of companies that reported better than expected results was extended on Thursday.

The S&P futures showed a lot of strength even from the overnight session, as Asian and European companies beat analysts’ estimations. The market’s positive momentum continued throughout the U.S. trading hours, as the vast majority of U.S. companies expected to report today continued to beat analysts’ estimations. Helped by this strong momentum, the S&P index broke above the range of the last few days of trading and reached the highest value since early November 2008.

Every major sector advanced in the S&P 500, including the basic material sector, which had a strong negative contribution over the last two days of trading. Interestingly enough, the worst performing shares were from the health care sector, a big divergence from the last few trading sessions, when the same sector was the market’s top performer. The same companies that reported better than expected results were among the top gainers in the S&P 500, including Wynn Resorts and Hartford Financial Services, which has advanced 13% so far. On the other side, Kodak fell 9%, as it seems it is not able to find a way towards profitability.

The rally seen in the equity market also had a strong effect in the commodity market. Crude oil surged a little more than 5.50%, having one of the best intra-day performances of the last few months, only a day after it plunged nearly $4. Moreover, almost every raw material traded on the major commodity markets advanced on Thursday. Longer term Treasuries continued to advance for a third consecutive day, as investors are pricing in a stronger inflationary period ahead. Yield on the 10-year note declined 2.5 basis points to 3.645%.

The Dow Jones Index advanced 151.45 points (1.67%) to 9,222.17, while the S&P 500 index gained 17.58 points (1.80%) to 992.73

Crude oil for August delivery was recently trading at $67.00 per barrel, up by $3.70.

Gold for August delivery was recently trading higher by $8.60 to $935.80.

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