US STOCKS-Wall St gains after strong data, S&P tops key level

* S&P technical breakout deemed bullish

* Netflix gains ahead of joining S&P 500

* Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.5 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday, changes byline)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) rose on Friday
following encouraging economic data on consumer sentiment and
trade, while the S&P 500’s break above key levels pointed to
further gains.

After rising above the key technical level around 1,228,
the S&P 500 was trading just above 1,235, which represents the
two-year intraday high reached earlier in the week.

In the latest signs of improvement in the U.S. economic
recovery, data showed consumer sentiment rose more than
expected in early December, while import prices in November
climbed at their fastest pace in a year. Another positive
signal came from the Commerce Department, which said the U.S.
trade deficit narrowed much more than expected in October. For
details, see [ID:nN10294524] and [ID:nN10198692]

A recent string of stronger data and technically bullish
signals have suggested to some analysts that the market is
likely to rally through the end of the year after some
consolidation.

“When you violate resistance, there’s a tendency for it to
really go” higher,” said Chris Burba, a short-term market
technician at Standard & Poor’s.

Noting a bullish sign for the S&P 500, he added that
“surpassing 1,227-1,229 is important … basically telling you
the crowd is willing to buy (stocks) at higher prices. I think
the market is in a natural place not only to rise, but for the
pace to speed up.”.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 18.39
points, or 0.16 percent, to 11,388.45. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 4.23 points, or 0.34 percent, to
1,237.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 12.29
points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,628.96.

Shares of Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: ) jumped after Standard &
Poor’s said the movie rental company, along with F5 Networks
Inc (FFIV.O: ) and Newfield Exploration Co(NFX.N: ), will replace
Office Depot Inc (ODP.N: ), New York Times Co (NYT.N: ) and
Eastman Kodak Co (EK.N: ) in the S&P 500. Netflix shot up 2.2
percent to $195.30.

Earlier in the session, the dollar’s strength kept a lid
on stocks’ gains since stocks and the greenback have moved in
opposite directions lately. The U.S. Dollar Index (.DXY: ),
which measures the dollar’s performance against a basket of
major trading partners’ currencies, was flat at midday at
80.069, after earlier hitting an intraday high at 80.304.

A drop in oil prices weighed on energy shares. U.S. crude
oil futures (CLF1: ) slid 61 cents, or 0.69 percent, to $87.76 a
barrel. Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) slipped 0.3 percent
to $71.77.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by
Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Wall St gains after strong data, S&P tops key level