US STOCKS-Optimism about economy sends stocks to multiyear highs

Fri Feb 8, 2013 5:10pm 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 on earnings, outlook

* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct; S&P 500 0.6 pct; Nasdaq 0.9 pct

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq composite stock index closed at a 12-year high and the S&P 500 index at a five-year high after stronger U.S. and international trade data improved the outlook for economic growth.

The S&P 500 also posted a sixth straight week of gains for the first time since August.

Data showed Chinese exports grew more than expected, while another report showed the U.S. trade deficit had narrowed in December, indicating the U.S. economy strengthened in the fourth quarter.

"That may have sent a ray of optimism," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego, Oregon.   Continued...