US stocks rally as trade deficit narrows to 3-year low

<p>Wall Street has made gains as the US trade deficit falls to its lowest level in three years.</p>

The US stock exchange has enjoyed a rally this afternoon (February 8th), as the national trade deficit has shrunk to a three-year nadir.

According to the Commerce Department, the US trade gap with the rest of the international marketplace fell to $38.5 billion (£24.3 billion) in December 2012, with record overseas demand for petroleum pushing up exports.

Crude oil imports slumped to their lowest level since 1997, however, over the course of the full 12-month period.

The data indicates the world's largest economy was stronger in the fourth quarter of the year than first thought and could lead to a revision of the 0.1 per cent annualised contraction in gross domestic product anticipated during the quarter, which was initially calculated before these figures were available.

At 16:40 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.3 per cent to 13986.1 points, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq rose by 0.8 per cent to 3192.6 points.

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