Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although notable strength is visible among electronic storage stocks. The NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index is currently up by 1 percent, rising to its best intraday level in almost three months.
STEC, Inc. (STEC) is turning in one of the storage sector's best performances, with the producer of solid-state drives currently up by 4 percent after reaching a two-month intraday high. Shares of STEC have recently benefited from takeover rumors.
Considerable strength is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain currently being shown by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. Communications chip makers Atheros (ATHR) and Broadcom (BRCM) are helping to lead the way higher.
Health insurance, natural gas, and metal stocks are also seeing moderate strength in morning trading, while modest weakness is visible among brokerage and housing stocks.
Stocks Driven By Analyst Comments
Shares of Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR) have shown a strong upward move in morning trading, with the oil and gas firm currently up by 4 percent. At its high for the session, Magnum Hunter was at its best intraday level in two months.
The gain by Magnum Hunter comes after Jefferies raised its rating on the company's stock to Buy from Hold with a price target of $4.80.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) is also turning in a strong performance after Argus upgraded its rating on the apparel retailer to Buy from Hold. Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch are currently up by 3.3 percent after reaching a five-month intraday high.
On the other hand, shares of MGM Resorts (MGM) are currently down by 2.7 percent after Hudson Securities downgraded its rating on the casino operator to Hold from Buy. With the loss, MGM Resorts is pulling back off the nearly five-month closing high it set last Friday.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly higher on Monday, as traders reacted positively to speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will enact additional quantitative easing measures. However, the Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
The major European markets are also seeing modest strength on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.4 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent.
The bond markets are closed on the day due to the Columbus Day holiday.