U.S. stocks continued their 2013 rally as positive export date out of China, along with a reduced trade deficit helped lift spirits. Stocks shot up at the open and then went sideways the rest of the session, leaving the S&P 500 with a 0.6% gain and the NASDAQ 0.9%.
- The U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in December, as petroleum imports fell to the lowest level in more than a decade. The deficit narrowed to $38.5 billion from $48.7 billion in November, the biggest contraction in nearly four years.
Oil fell 0.1% to $95.72, gold dropped 0.3% to $1666.90, while silver added 0.1% to $31.44.
British stocks gained 0.6%, German stocks 0.8%, and French stocks 1.35%.
- German data showed a 2012 surplus that was the nation's second highest in more than 60 years, an indication of the underlying strength of Europe's biggest economy.
Japanese stocks fell 1.8% and Chinese stocks 0.6%. Chinese stocks will be closed all of next week for the Lunar New Year.
- China's trade surplus in January narrowed to $29.2 billion from December's $31.6 billion, but exports surged 25% and imports climbed 29%, both well ahead of the previous month's increases.
- China's consumer price index rose 2% in January from a year earlier, slower than a 2.5% on-year rise in December