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Stocks Holding on to Gains in Mid-Day Trading, European Equities Settle Higher

Friday, February 8, 2013 1:23 PM
U.S. stocks continued to held modest gains by midday trade on Friday as batch of better than expected quarterly results during this week along with surprisingly good trade data from both the U.S. and China boosted investors’ risk appetite. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index added 0.35%; the NASDAQ Composite Index climbed 0.90% while the S&P 500 Index edged up 0.50%. Nearly 60% of S&P 500 Companies have so far reported their quarterly results and 70% out of those have edged past Street’s estimate while 66% have topped revenue forecasts, a data provided by Thomson Reuters showed. Should the remaining companies report earnings in-line with expectations then earnings in the fourth quarter will jump 5.2% YOY, according to Thomson Reuters. Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) rallied on Friday after the professional networking site reported staggering  81% revenue growth in fiscal fourth quarter while earnings also exceeded the Street’s forecast by long margin. The Company provided a optimistic outlook on fiscal first quarter. Shares of Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) jumped by midday trade after the chipmaker posted better than expected fiscal third quarter revenue and earnings and provided upbeat outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter. Even after reporting a 1.9% drop in global same-store-sales, shares of burger chain McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) edged up on Friday as it performed much better in the U.S. market. Wholesale inventories fell 0.1 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted $497.65 billion, according to the Commerce Department, the first drop since June. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting wholesale inventories to increase by 0.4%. A trade data from China showed that exports grew by 25% in January. In the U.S., the trade deficit narrowed to $38.5 billion in December, as imports of oil declined and exports grew. Economists forecasted for a trade deficit of $46 billion. Elsewhere in Europe all leading benchmark indexes ended higher with Pan European Stoxx 600 gaining 1.22% for the day.

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