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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Some encouraging economic data out of China and Europe, and the prospect of a monster tech IPO helped push stocks to multi-month highs.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,716.5, +83.6, +0.7%
S&P 500: 1,324.1, +11.7, +0.9%
NASDAQ: 2,848.3, +34.4, +1.2%

And now, the top stories:

  • China’s preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 50.5 beating the expectation for 49.6.  A reading of about 50 suggests expansion.  This was welcome news for those fearing a hard landing for the Chinese economy.
  • Europe also posted its own bullish manufacturing PMI numbers.  European stocks surged, with the Stoxx 600 index soaring 2.0 per cent.  Yields in the region also came down.
  • There were rumours that Greece and its private creditors would finalise and announce the terms of its debt swap deal today.  However that rumour was changed from a deal “within hours” to a deal some time “this week.”
  • Economic data out of the U.S. was a bit mixed.  ADP said 170k new jobs were created in December, falling short of economists’ expectation for 182k.  ADP is a proxy for the BLS’s non-farm payroll number.  While the ADP reading was not a huge miss, economist are likely to scale back their expectations for Friday’s big BLS jobs announcement.
  • The ISM manufacturing climbed to 54.1 in January, but fell shy of the 54.5 expected by economists.  Construction spending jumped 1.5% in December, crushing expectations for 0.5% growth.
  • Automakers announced their January sales results throughout the day.  Overall, the results were positive.  Chrysler sales soared 44 per cent, crushing estimates calling for 32 per cent growth.  Ford’s sales grew 7.3 per cent, but fell just shy of the 7.9 per cent expected. General Motors sales fell 6.1 per cent, however it wasn’t as bad as the 7.3 per cent decline expected.
  • American Airlines said it would cut 13k jobs as it moves through bankruptcy.  The beleaguered airline employed over 78k workers at the end of Q3 2011.
  • Shares of Amazon tumbled after the company reported disappointing Q4 results.  Net sales came in at $17.4 billion, missing analysts’ estimate of $18.2 billion.
  • Everyone’s waiting for Facebook’s S-1 IPO filing, which is rumoured to be filed today. One of the big winners in all this is Morgan Stanley, which is expected to be the lead underwriter, raking in monster investment banking fees.
  • Don’t Miss: THE NOSTRADAMUS AWARDS: The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >

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