Stock markets are moving slightly higher today after a number of economic indicators came in right around expectations. New jobless claims were at 371,000, and job openings rose slightly to 3.68 million, above the 3.67 million reported a month earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) proceeded to rise 0.55%, while the more diverse S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.68%.
One of the more interesting moves of the day was crude oil's spike to $94.70 per barrel, after which it settled in at a 0.9% rise to about $94 per barrel. China reported a 14.1% increase in exports in December, which is a strong economic indicator for one of the few economies in the world that are still growing. Oil has reversed a slide that had the commodity trading below $90 per barrel since mid-October, and it doesn't appear to be losing steam yet.
It would be easy to assume that Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) would follow the rise of oil, as the aluminum maker has often jumped when positive economic news comes out of China. But in the same report, data shows that copper imports fell and that we may not be seeing a sustainable increase in demand for raw materials to end 2012. Right now Alcoa has lost 1.1% of its value today.
Gold has gained 1.24% today after the dollar lost value. The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT: GLD ) has also gained 1.1%
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