- Chinese foreign trade data were better than expected, cheering up Asian markets, which rallied after the release, as well as European stocks. China reported its exports rose by 2.3% in yuan-denominated terms in December from a year earlier while imports fell by 4%. Calculated in U.S. dollars, Chinese exports fell 1.4% from a year earlier, while imports fell by 7.6%, vs. expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts for exports to fall by 8% and imports to fall 11.5%.
- The price of oil increased for the first time in eight days following the better-than-expected Chinese trade data. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose $0.26 to $30.70 a barrel at 0108 ET. It fell $0.97 on Tuesday to close at $30.44 a barrel, after touching a low of $29.93 during the day, the lowest level since December 2003.
- Carmaker Ford (F) set a special dividend worth $1 billion, but its outlook for the year failed to impress analysts on Wall Street. The company expects a record 2015 pre-tax profit, excluding special items, in the "upper half" of its outlook for $10 billion to $11 billion, and at least as much for 2016. However, analysts on average were already forecasting profit of $11 billion for 2016.
- Regulators in California rejected Volkswagen's (VLKAY) recall plan for nearly 500,000 diesel-powered cars, ahead of a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper said the decision is a setback but does not preclude a deal, as discussions with U.S. regulators continue.
- House price growth in Norway, which is feeling the pain of lower oil prices, halved to 0.6% in the final quarter of last year, the Financial Times reports. Last November, the supervisory authority had warned that house prices had risen to "unprecedented" levels and that there was a danger of a "sudden turnaround."
More from China
Stocks trended steadily higher as the focus remained on stock picking and earnings, rather than big picture worries like China, the economy, politics and the Fed.
Shares of LK have been holding, and I'm drawn to a particular crossover pattern.
The Trump and Xi administrations are at least looking at the same page. That's more than nothing.
It seems as if the complacency that has gripped the U.S. markets of late has crossed the Atlantic.