China's trade surplus widened in December to lift the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 69 points to 12,462. Nasdaq climbed 25 points to 2702.
On the upside
Shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: IDIX) continued climbing over speculation that the hepatitis C treatment maker may be acquired.
Cobalt International Energy (NYSE: CIE) reported very encouraging results at its Cameia-1 discovery off the shore of West Africa.
Brean Murray and Roth Capital affirmed their Buy ratings for Sina (Nasdaq: SINA).
On the downside
Complete Genomics (Nasdaq: GNOM) delivered fewer genomes than expected in the fourth quarter prompting a downgrade.
Hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) warned of lower third quarter earnings and cut its guidance for 2012.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 11 points to 764.