NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street after a report showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in December. Stocks were also boosted by strong earnings reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66 points to 14,010 shortly after the opening bell Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up eight points at 1,517 and the Nasdaq composite rose 28 points at 3,192.
The trade deficit fell nearly 21 percent in December from November to $38.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s the smallest in nearly three years. The smaller trade gap means the economy likely performed better in the final three months of last year than first estimated last week.
Shares of LinkedIn, the online professional-networking service, jumped $22.86, or 18 percent, to $147 after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results late Thursday. Microchip Technology, a semiconductor maker, jumped $2.55 to $36.49 after its earnings beat analysts’ estimates and the company said it was seeing “exceptionally strong” bookings.
Wall Street is also bracing for what is forecast to be the largest winter storm in more than a year with up to 2 feet of snow forecast along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Boston and beyond.
Markets are little changed for the week, suggesting that a rally that pushed the major indexes close to record levels early this year may have stalled. The Dow had its best January in almost two decades and is up nearly 7 percent on the year. The S&P 500 is 6.4 percent higher in the same period.
As stocks have gained, Treasurys have slumped. The yield on the 10-year note rose, which moves inversely to its price, rose two basis points to 1.98 percent.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
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