Stocks had another strong day.
First the scoreboard:
And now the top stories:
- It was a relatively quiet day for news.
- On the economic front, weekly initial jobless claims came in at 371k, up from last week's reading of 367k. Economists were looking for the number to fall to 365k. So, the number was a tad disappointing. "More generally, the claims data can be volatile this time of year because of the difficulty of seasonal adjustment around the holidays," notes UBS economist Kevin Cummins. "It will be several more weeks before the claims data are free of influence from the holiday seasonal factors. Thus, we attach little weight to possible swings for the next couple of weeks."
- If there were a reason to be bullish today, then it was last night Chinese trade report. Exports surged 14.1 percent year-over-year in December, which was well ahead of the 5 percent gain forecasted by economists. Considering China is the world's second largest economy, this is good news for everyone.
- The drama surrounding Herbalife continues to heat up. Last month, hedge fund hot shot Bill Ackman announced that he was shorting the stock, accusing the company of being a pyramid scheme. Shares plummeted back then. Yesterday, Dan Loeb, another high-profile hedge funder, announced that he disagreed with Ackman's thesis. Loeb is now long the stock. This morning, activist investor Carl Icahn reportedly jumped into the fray, taking a long position like Loeb. Meanwhile, Herbalife fired back today with their defense, effectively explaining why Ackman's trade will blow up on him.
- Don't Miss: Frank Holmes' Massive Presentation On Why All Kinds Of Commodities Are Going To Surge >
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