(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks scored solid gains 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 (0.60 percent) to 13,471.22.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 11.10 (0.76 percent) to 1,472.12, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 15.95 (0.51 percent) to 3,121.76.
China said that in December, exports and imports hit new single-month highs, rising 14.1 percent to 199.2 billion and six percent to 167.6 billion, 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 percent and JPMorgan Chase gained 1.5 percent.
One day after announcing it would cut 1,600 jobs, Morgan Stanley soared 3.7 percent.
Ford shares jumped 2.7 percent after the auto giant said it would double its quarterly dividend for 2013.
General Motors added 1.6 percent after saying it would hire 1,000 workers for a new tech center in Georgia.
Delta Airlines rose 1.5 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded it to "overweight".
Jeweller Tiffany and Co. sank 4.5 percent 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 percent after announcing that it would not proceed with the second phase of a major manufacturing project until market conditions improve.
Nokia rose 18.7 percent 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 percent from 1.87 percent late Wednesday, while the 30-year rose to 3.08 percent from 3.07 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.