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Stocks Inch Higher as Chinese Exports Boost Global Markets

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock markets closed higher Monday, in line with major global equities, as Chinese data showing rising Chinese exports offset concerns the Federal Reserve will announce steps as early as next week to reduce its  bond-buying program.

  • The S&P 500 gained 0.19% to 1808.44, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.04% to 16,026.37. The Nasdaq was 0.15% higher to 4,068.75. U.S. markets closed higher on Friday after November jobs data showed unemployment at a five-year fueling optimism the U.s. economic recovery is gaining traction.
  • S&P Winner and Loser: Sysco Corp (SYY - Get Report)SYY was the biggest percentage gainer on the index, jumping 9.7%, while Newfield Exploration (NFX - Get Report)NFX tumbled 8% for the worst intraday return.
  • China reported a stronger-than-expected exports gain, an increase of 12.7% over October's 5.6%. A trade surplus of $33.8 billion topped last month's surplus by $2.7 billion.
  • European markets gained after German industrial production for October dropped 1.2%, the second decline in as many months. Europe's largest economy saw its trade surplus shrink to 17.9 billion euros from 20.2 billion euros in September. Germany's DAX 30 closed up 0.25% while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 both gained 0.11%.
  • Fed bank presidents Jeffrey Lacker from Richmond said frequent changes to the pace of economic stimulus were "unrealistic." Richard Fisher from Dallas and James Bullard from St. Louis each pushed the possibility of reducing the size of the central bank's $85 billion a month in bond buying.
  • Ministers from 159 member economies of the World Trade Organization reached agreement over the weekend to boost global trade, a deal which could add nearly $1 trillion to the world economy. "This new deal, and particularly the new trade facilitation agreement, will eliminate red tape and bureaucratic delay for goods shipped around the globe," said President Obama in a statement.
  • Asian markets were finished higher on China's export data. Japan's Nikkei soared 2.29% to 15650.21 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.29% to 23811.17.

--By Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York 

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