By Wallace Witkowski and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Stocks on Wall Street rose Friday, sending the Dow industrials back above 14,000, following strong trade data from China and the U.S.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) climbed 50.09 points, or 0.3%, to 13,994.14, after touching an intraday high of 14,022.62 earlier. Twenty-three out of 30 components of the Dow were trading higher with Hewlett-Packard Co. (>> Hewlett-Packard Company) leading the way with a 2% gain.
The S&P 500 index (SPX) gained 7.01 points, or 0.5%, to 1,516.40, with tech and consumer discretionary stocks leading the 10 sectors higher.
The Nasdaq Composite index (RIXF) advanced 28.57 points, or 0.9%, to 3,193.71.
Data, such as the U.S. trade deficit and China trade data, is still supportive of continued slow economic growth, said Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago.
The U.S. trade deficit fell almost 21% in December to $38.5 billion, marking the biggest drop in four years, as exports rose and imports softened. In China, exports and imports accelerated at a faster-than-expected rate in January, according to official data.
Following a rise of 12% since mid-November, with about 6% in January alone, the new line for the S&P 500 appears to be 1,500, he said.
"Markets are going sideways to work off that bullish run, and from a bullish perspective that's a good thing," said Nolte. Stocks have had a seesaw week in general as investors deal with a stock market considered by many as overbought with the anticipation of a big correction around the corner.
In the meantime, the Northeast, including New York City, was bracing for a major blizzard, which is expected to reach maximum intensity on Saturday morning. Thousands of flights have been grounded.
Trading volume looked thinner than average. Composite volume on the NYSE topped 1.4 billion shares; the daily average has been around 3.6 billion. About 900 million shares changed hands on the Nasdaq Stock Market. A spokesman for the NYSE Euronext's (>> NYSE Euronext) New York Stock Exchange said trading will proceed as usual Friday.
Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners by 2 to 1 on the NYSE and Nasdaq.
In corporate news, McDonald's Corp. (>> McDonald's Corporation) said its global comparable sales in January fell 1.9%. Shares rose 0.8%.
Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (>> Linkedin Corporation) rallied more than 20% after the professional social network reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue.
Moody's Corp. (>> Moody's Corporation) shares fell 6%. The ratings agency reported a 66% surge in fourth-quarter earnings, but they came in slightly lower than expected. Also, New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman is looking at any potential misconduct by the three major credit-ratings firms, including Moody's, a person familiar with the matter told MarketWatch.
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