U.S. stocks have edged higher in early trading as market sentiment was boosted by strong trade data from the U.S. and China.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.49%; the NASDAQ Composite Index climbed 0.88% while the S&P 500 Index edged up 0.52%.
Growth in exports and decline in oil imports helped the U.S. trade deficit to fall to its lowest level in nearly three years in December. A data provided by the U.S. Commerce Department showed that nation’s trade deficit narrowed to $38.5 billion in December while economists’ consensus forecast was for trade deficit of $46 billion.
Meanwhile in China, a trade data showed that exports in January climbed 25 percent year-on -year, the strongest pace of growth in exports since April 2011 and beating analysts’ expectation of a 17 percent rise. Imports during the same period rose by 28.8% YOY.
Even after the credit ratings agency Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO
) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and provided strong guidance on 2013 earnings, shares were falling 3.30%, at last check
Shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL
) rallied in early trading session after it reported growth in fourth quarter revenue—the first quarterly growth in eight years. Revenue also edged past Street’s expectation.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI
) climbed nearly 8.5% after the videogame maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue, thanks to strong sales of its two blockbuster titles, ‘Call Of Duty’ and ‘Skylanders’ during the holiday-season quarter.
In Europe equity markets recovered on Friday after a tumultuous preceding session when the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s positive but cautious outlook weighed on the sentiment resulting in broader -asset -slump. At last check, the Pan European Stoxx 600 Index was gaining 0.82%, FTSE 100 was edging up 0.51% while DAX was climbing 0.44%.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets ended mixed with Japan’s Nikkei Index plunging 1.80%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inching up 0.16% while the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.57% for the day.