US STOCKS-Equities climb in wake of positive data

Fri Feb 8, 2013 1:40pm EST
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* China, German trade data signal growth in demand

* Narrower U.S. trade deficit should boost GDP

* Shares of LinkedIn surge after earnings, outlook

* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct; S&P 0.5 pct; Nasdaq 0.9 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, with the benchmark S&P index hitting a five-year high, in the wake of a batch of encouraging domestic and international economic reports.

Data showing stronger international trade in China and Germany, and a report indicating the U.S. trade deficit had narrowed in December, pointed to improving global demand.

The U.S. technology sector rose, boosted by gains in LinkedIn Corp and AOL Inc following their quarterly results, and in turn, lifting the Nasdaq.

Shares of LinkedIn jumped 22 percent to $151.81 after announcing quarterly profits and giving a bullish forecast for the year.   Continued...