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Stocks edge higher; Dow average near 14,000

Stocks
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-08 18:11:00-05

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are higher on Wall Street after a report showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in December.

The market is also getting a boost from strong earnings reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up about 45 points, about 10 points shy of 14,000 in early afternoon trading.

The S&P 500 index was up more than six points and the Nasdaq had added more than 25.

The trade deficit fell nearly 21 percent in December from November to $38.6 billion, the smallest in nearly three years. Exports rose while oil imports plummeted. The smaller gap means the economy likely performed better in the final three months of last year than first estimated last week.

LinkedIn and Microchip Technology, a semiconductor maker, rose after reporting strong earnings.