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