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Wall Street Report: Stock Averages Up in Midday Trading

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The market saw strong gains in the first half of trading on Tuesday.

Bank of America is helping to lead the averages higher.  Its CEO, Brian Moynihan, is predicting a rise in profits in the years to come. Bank of America shares were up more than three percent.

Another plus for the markets: oil prices are down from Monday. Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia confirm there are OPEC talks about raising oil output in hopes of countering the Libya effect.  Fighting in Libya and unrest in several other Arab nations has led to an oil price spike. Analysts say there's no real shortage in supplies yet.

Toyota says hybrid sales are up as more consumers look at energy efficient cars as gas prices rise.

More Americans are underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. The financial information firm CoreLogic says nearly 1 in 4 mortgaged homes was underwater in the last three months of 2010. Average home prices have fallen sharply in the past five years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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