U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, as the U.S. economic outlook further improved after official data showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to a four-year low in November.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.51%, the S&P 500 index gained 0.43%, while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 0.50%.
In a report, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to a seasonally adjusted USD34.25 billion in November from a deficit of USD39.33 billion in October, whose figure was revised from a previously reported deficit of USD40.6 billion.
Analysts had expected the U.S. trade deficit to widen to USD40 billion in November. The data showed that U.S. exports totaled USD194.86 billion, while imports came in at USD229.11 billion.
Investors were eyeing Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting and Friday’s U.S. jobs report for December for further indications on the possible timing of reductions in Fed stimulus.
Tech stocks were in focus for the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Cisco Systems, which was gearing up for its largest-ever presence at the show, saw shares rally 1.23% at the open of the U.S. trading session.
Cisco''s Chief Executive Officer John Chambers was set to deliver a keynote later Tuesday.
In the financial sector, JPMorgan Chase added 0.14% amid reports the U.S. lender may settle the criminal and regulatory investigation into its dealings with Bernard Madoff on Tuesday. A deal of around USD2 billion is expected.
Separately, Morgan Stanley edged up 0.19% after Glenn Hadden reportedly left his position as head of interest-rates trading, citing differences with his bosses over how the business should be run.
Elsewhere, Goodyear shares were up 0.97% as workers at one of the company''s tire and rubber factories in northern France were holding two managers captive in a dispute over the plant''s closure.
Adding to gains, JetBlue Airways jumped 1.62, after dropping over 4% on Monday as the airline said it would temporarily halt service in Boston and at the three New York regional airports due to weather-related disruptions.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.93%, France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.40%, Germany''s DAX advanced 0.53%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 rose 0.36%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index added 0.13%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid 0.59%.