NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock markets were trading higher Monday as data showing rising Chinese exports offset concerns the Federal Reserve will announce steps as early as next week to reduce its bond-buying program.
- China reported a stronger-than-expected exports gain, an increase of 12.7% over October's 5.6%. Consumer inflation running below 3% eased concerns the People's Bank of China would engage in policy tightening over 2014. A trade surplus of $33.8 billion topped last month's surplus by $2.7 billion.
- By Monday afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was adding 0.06% to 16,029.76 while the S&P 500 was gaining 0.21% to 1808.82. The Nasdaq was 0.14% higher to 4,068.07. 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.
- European markets were mixed after German industrial production for October dropped 1.2%, the second decline in as many months. Economy's largest economy saw its trade surplus shrink to 17.9 billion euros from 20.2 billion euros in September. Germany's DAX 30 was up 0.25% while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 both gained 0.11%.
- Investors are likely keeping close tabs on several Federal Reserve speeches. Among them, Fed bank presidents Jeffrey Lacker from Richmond, Richard Fisher from Dallas and James Bullard from St. Louis are set to speak later in the session.
- The Fed Bank speeches on Monday come ahead of a Federal Bank meeting next week where a decision will be made on whether to extend or limit its $85-billion-a-month bond-purchase program.
- 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.
- Stocks making moves on Monday include McDonald's (MCD), which is down 1% after reporting November same-store sales in the U.S. fell 0.8%, and Given Imaging (GIVN) which saw its share jump 26% after Covidien (COV) agreed to buy the company for $860 million. Food distributor Sysco (SYY) leapt 12.5% after agreeing to buy US Foods in a $3.5 billion deal.
- PVH Corp. (PVH), Casey's General Stores (CASY), ABM Industries (ABM) and Analogic (ALOG) will likely move in relation to quarterly earnings due out Monday.
- 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.
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