California wildfireREUTERS/David McNewA DC-10 firefighting jet drops fire retardant at the Silver Fire near Banning, California, August 7, 2013.

U.S. stock markets ended their three-day losing streak today.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 15,498.3, +27.6, +0.1%
  • S&P 500: 1,697.4, +6.5, +0.3%
  • NASDAQ: 3,669.1, +15.1, +0.4%

And now, the top stories:

  • In an encouraging sign from China, the world’s second largest economy reported July trade stats that crushed expectations. Exports jumped 5.1% year-over-year, which was much stronger than the 2.0% expected by economists. Imports surged 10.9%, blowing away expectations for 1.0% growth.
  • “One important question in investors’ mind is whether we can trust the quality of these trade statistics because they were significantly manipulated between October 2012 and April 2013,” noted Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Ting Lu. However, Lu actually has a proprietary method that accounts for the potential trade data manipulations, and on the bright side, his adjusted numbers were still encouraging. “Using our adjustment method for fake trade (developed in May), adjusted export growth in July rose to 3.5% yoy from -4.3% in June and adjusted import growth rose to 10.3% yoy from -1.2% in June,” he said.
  • Weekly initial jobless claims ticked up to 333,000 this week, up from last week’s 328,000. Despite the slight uptick, the four-week moving average sits at the lowest level since November 2007.
  • Shares of Tesla exploded higher today. Yesterday afternoon, the electric car maker shocked investors when it reported a surprise profit for the second quarter in a row. “HAHAHAHA,” laughed CEO Elon Musk in response to a question about a competitor’s car.
  • Perhaps the only notable stock that outperformed Tesla was Groupon. The group-coupon seller reported second quarter earnings that were in line with expectations on stronger-than-expected sales. The company also announced it would repurchase $US300 million worth of its shares over the next two years.
  • Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto announced her retirement this afternoon. “Sandy has been a remarkable colleague who has made invaluable contributions to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Federal Reserve System, and the country,” said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. “We will miss her thoughtful insights and leadership across a broad range of issues, including monetary policy, payments policy, and community development.”
  • Don’t Miss: GOLDMAN: These Are The 8 Extraordinary Technologies Forcing Businesses To Adapt Or Die ยป

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