US stocks rise on robust Chinese data

2013-01-11 07:34

New York - US stocks scored solid gains on Thursday after stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data boosted growth hopes for the world's second-biggest economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.71 points to 13,471.22.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 11.10 to 1,472.12, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 15.95 to 3,121.76.

China said that in December, exports and imports hit new single-month highs, rising 14.1% to $199.2bn and 6% to $167.6bn, respectively.

"Investors appeared to take the cue from the potential for a global growth recovery with Chinese exports gaining the most in seven months and ECB President Mario Draghi's expectation of a gradual rebound later in 2013 in the eurozone," Charles Schwab analysts said.

European Central bank chief Draghi, in a post-monetary policy meeting news conference, said the decision leave its key interest rate unchanged was "unanimous" and cited a number of improvements in the troubled eurozone economy.

Financial shares surged higher. On the Dow, Bank of America shot up 3.1% and JPMorgan Chase gained 1.5%.

One day after announcing it would cut 1 600 jobs, Morgan Stanley soared 3.7%.

Ford shares jumped 2.7% after the auto giant said it would double its quarterly dividend for 2013.

General Motors added 1.6% after saying it would hire 1 000 workers for a new tech center in Georgia.

Delta Airlines rose 1.5% after Morgan Stanley upgraded it to "overweight".

Jeweller Tiffany and Co. sank 4.5% after issuing a profit warning, saying that its holiday period sales were at the low end of expectations.

Rare-earths producer Molycorp dived 22.7% after announcing that it would not proceed with the second phase of a major manufacturing project until market conditions improve.

Nokia rose 18.7% after signaling that fourth-quarter earnings would be stronger than expected due to good sales of its new Lumia smartphone.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.89% from 1.87% late on Wednesday, while the 30-year rose to 3.08% from 3.07%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.