U.S. trade deficit falls to lowest level in four years
LEADING SECTORS: Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose. Health care stocks were the biggest gainers, advancing 1 percent. Makers of non-essential consumer goods rose 0.6 percent.
JANUARY STATS: The S&P 500’s start to 2014 was the worst opening to a year since 2005. The last time the index closed lower for four straight days to begin a year was 1978, according to S&P Capital IQ. Even though the market ended up in both those years, a weak January is typically a harbinger of a weak year for the stock market. The performance of stocks in January has predicted the trend for 62 of the last 85 years.
SHRINKING DEFICIT: The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for the economy. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 2.96 percent from Monday. The price of oil rose 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $93.61 a barrel. Gold fell $9.70, or 0.8 percent, to $1,227.90 an ounce.
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