NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. stocks rallied in thin trading Friday on upbeat economic data, sending the Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index and Nasdaq Composite index higher for six weeks in a row.
The Wall Street moved higher after the opening bell, bolstered by positive trade data across the world.
The U.S. trade deficit in December dropped 21 percent to 38.5 billion U.S. dollars compared with the prior month, the lowest level in nearly three years, the Commerce Department said Friday.
The data indicated that the U.S. government may upgrade its gross domestic product statistics for the fourth quarter, the advance reading of which stood at a minus-0.1-percent annual rate.
The stocks were also boosted by stronger-than-expected Chinese trade figures released Friday, which signaled a robust recovery in the world's second largest economy.
Exports of China in January jumped 25 percent from a year earlier, while imports also surged 28.8 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of 29.2 billion dollars, according to official data.
Meanwhile, the German trade surplus in 2012 soared to its second highest level in more than 60 years, pointing to an underlying resilience of Europe's largest economy, official data showed Friday.
However, the U.S. wholesale inventories in December decreased 0. 1 percent, falling short of analysts' forecast of a 0.3-percent increase.
The main stock indices kept trading in narrow ranges, with thin volumes affected by a snowstorm hitting the U.S. East Coast.
The Nasdaq outperformed the other two indices, underpinned by Apple, the index's largest component, which added 1.44 percent to 474.98 dollars as the tech giant is expected to raise its dividend.
Besides, another tech company LinkedIn's shares surged 21.22 percent to 150.42 dollars, one day after the social networking company announced that its fourth-quarter profit went far beyond the Wall Street expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 48.92 points, or 0.35 percent, to 13,992.97. The S&P 500 went up 8.54 points, or 0.57 percent, to 1,517.93. The Nasdaq climbed 28.74 points, or 0.91 percent, to 3,193.87.
The equity market saw a relatively weak movement in this week after an impressive performance in the first month of the year as investors were awaiting positive catalyst to push the stocks higher. For the week, the Dow lost 0.1 percent, and the S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent while the Nasdaq advanced 0.5 percent.