Stocks rise on strong Chinese trade data

US stocks were slightly higher in early trade Thursday after stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data boosted growth hopes for the world's second-biggest economy.

At around 10:45, the Dow Jones Industrial average was at 13,406.15, up 15.64 (0.12 percent)

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.59 (0.25 percent) to 1,464.61, while the Nasdaq Composite increased .73 (0.02 percent) to 3,106.54.

China said its trade surplus surged 48.1 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, helped by a 7.9 percent rise in exports.

Nokia rose 16.3 percent higher after signaling that fourth-quarter earnings would be stronger than expected due to good sales of its new Lumia smartphone.

Ford jumped 2.6 percent on news that it was doubling its quarterly dividend.

One day after announcing it would cut 1,600 jobs, Morgan Stanley rose 3.3 percent.

Delta Airlines rose 2.6 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded it to "overweight."

Tiffany and Co. slipped 3.5 percent after issuing a profit warning, saying that its holiday period sales were at the low end of expectations.

Rare-earths company Molycorp slipped 24.5 percent after announcing that it would not proceed with the second phase of a major manufacturing project until market conditions improve.

As anticipated, both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank left interests rates unchanged Thursday. Though the ECB's decision was expected, ECB Chief Mario Draghi signaled the decision against cutting rates was unanimous, comments that helped propel the euro higher.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.90 percent from 1.87 percent late Tuesday, while the 30-year rose to 3.09 percent from 3.07 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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