Stocks Close Up as Trade Gap Narrows Further

U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, helped by data showing a smaller-than-expected trade gap. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 105.84 points or 0.64 percent, to end at 16,530.94. The S&P 500 gained 11.11 points or 0.61 percent, to finish at 1,837.88. The Nasdaq Composite added 39.50 points or 0.96 percent, to close at 4,153.18.

The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in four years in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import growth, the latest evidence of strengthening economic fundamentals. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap fell 12.9 percent to $34.3 billion.

Micron Technology Inc. (MU) on Tuesday reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $358 million, or 30 cents a share, on revenue of $4.04 billion. During the same period a year ago, the memory chipmaker lost $275 million, or 27 cents a share, on $1.83 billion in sales.

European aerospace giant Airbus announced Tuesday that Allan McArtor will take over as chairman and chief executive of the company’s North American business unit when current chief Sean O’Keefe steps down in March.

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