After an early move to the upside, the Dow remains firmly positive in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The blue chip index is currently hovering near the record intraday high set earlier in the session, up 200.33 points or 0.6 percent at 33,877.60.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has pulled back into the red, slipping 33.96 points or 0.2 percent at 13,962.14.

The S&P 500 has shown a lack of direction in recent trading and is currently up 1.55 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 4,143.14 after reaching a new record intraday high.

The advance by the Dow is partly due to significant strength among shares of Goldman Sachs (GS), with the financial giant jumping by 4.6 percent.

Goldman Sachs is moving higher after reporting first quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Banking giant Wells Fargo (WFC) has also shown a strong move to the upside after reporting better than expected first quarter results.

On the other hand, shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) have moved lower even though the financial giant reported first quarter results that exceeded expectations.

The release of the quarterly results comes as earnings season gets underway, with Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), and PepsiCo (PEP) among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Thursday.

The pullback by the Nasdaq may be partly due to profit taking following the rally by technology stocks seen in the previous session.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing another notable increase by import prices in the month of March.

The report said import prices surged up by 1.2 percent in March after jumping by 1.3 percent in February. Economists had expected import prices to climb by 1.0 percent.

The Labor Department noted import prices spiked by 4.1 percent from December to March, reflecting the largest three-month increase since May of 2011.

The report also said export prices soared by 2.1 percent in March after shooting up by 1.6 percent in February. Export prices were expected to increase by 1.0 percent.

Sector News

Energy stocks continue to turn in some of the market’s best performances in mid-day trading, benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil.

Crude for May delivery is spiking $2.76 to $62.94 a barrel following the release of a report showing a bigger than expected weekly drop in crude oil inventories.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 7.4 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 4.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 3.3 percent.

Significant strength also remains visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 3.8 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index has reached its best intraday level in almost ten years.

Banking stocks also continue to see considerable strength on the day, with the KBW Bank Index surging up by 2.1 percent.

Biotechnology, brokerage and airline stocks have also shown notable moves to the upside, while modest weakness has emerged among gold and software stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Wednesday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.4 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.4 percent.

Most European stocks also moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while the German DAX Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest weakness after moving notably higher in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.8 basis points at 1.641 percent.

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