US stocks open higher

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NYSE--Blue Reuters.

New York - US stocks opened higher Friday following an unexpected drop in the trade deficit and strong trade data out of China.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 23.42 points (0.17 percent) at 13,967.47.

The S&P 500 index rose 3.57 (0.24 percent) to 1,512.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 13.73 (0.43 percent) to 3,178.86.

The US trade deficit shrank more than expected in December, to $38.5 billion instead of the $45.4 billion estimated by analysts.

Also Friday, China's trade surplus rose sharply in January, with both exports and imports beating expectations, as the country maintained its economic recovery on improving demand. - Sapa-AFP

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