* U.S. trade deficit smallest in four years
* UnitedHealth jumps on upgrade, Netflix slides on downgrade
* JPMorgan falls; bank to pay over $2 bln in Madoff case
* Dow up 0.7 pct, S&P 500 up 0.6 pct, Nasdaq up 0.9 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Jan 7 U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday,
putting the S&P 500 on track for its first positive session of
2014 as equities rebounded following a three-day decline.
A sharp decline in the U.S. trade deficit and upbeat German
data added to the market's optimism as the data pointed to
strengthening economic fundamentals in both the United States
"We're getting a nice little snapback following a pretty
soggy first couple of days, which created some anxiety because
some people think that sets the tone for the year," said
Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist of the ConvergEx Group
in New York. "Volume and news remain light, but people expect
this year to be positive so the negative start probably got a
All 10 S&P sector indexes rose for the day, led by the
healthcare index, which gained 1.2 percent after
Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock of UnitedHealth Group Inc
to a "buy." Shares of UnitedHealth, a Dow component,
jumped 4 percent to $77.17. Tenet Healthcare climbed 4.1
percent to $45.73 and was the S&P 500's biggest percentage
Community Health Systems Inc shares rose 2.9 percent
to $43.14 a day after the company said the new U.S. healthcare
law should give a slight boost to the company's 2014 earnings.
The S&P 500's gains follow a three-day losing streak, which
came as traders took profits following 2013's huge rally that
drove the benchmark index up nearly 30 percent.
Data showed U.S. exports hit a record high in November,
while weak oil prices restrained import growth, resulting in the
smallest U.S. trade deficit in four years. German unemployment
unexpectedly fell in December on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 111.30
points, or 0.68 percent, at 16,536.40. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 10.93 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,837.70.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 36.06 points, or 0.88
percent, at 4,149.74.
Shares of Google Inc hit a record high of
$1,136.59. In early afternoon trading, the stock was up 1.4
percent at $1,133.03. JPMorgan, which has an "overweight" rating
on Google, raised its target price on the stock to $1,305 from
Economic activity may be hurt by a polar vortex - strong
upper-level winds in the Northern Hemisphere that normally hover
over the polar region - that has been pushed south to envelop a
large part of the United States.
JPMorgan Chase & Co shares fell 1.3 percent to
$58.26 after the largest U.S. bank holding company said it would
pay more than $2 billion of penalties to settle charges by U.S.
federal authorities that it failed to report suspicious activity
involving Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Netflix Inc was one of the day's biggest decliners,
dropping 5.7 percent to $338.96 after Morgan Stanley downgraded
the stock to "underweight."
On the upside, Micron Tech rose 3.9 percent to $21.48
after Roth Capital raised its price target on the stock by $4 to
$25. The company is scheduled to release its quarterly results
after the market closes on Tuesday.
In the pharmaceutical space, Neurocrine Biosciences
soared 84.9 percent to $18.05 a day after it said its movement
disorder drug showed a reduction in symptoms compared with a
placebo in a mid-stage study. Stereotaxis shares jumped
16 percent to $4.65 following completion of a clinical