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Daily Data Flow: S&P at Five-Year Peak; Debt Ceiling Could Delay Tax Refunds; Dollar Drops

Better-than-expected Chinese exports caused U.S. stocks to advance, sending the Standard & Poor‚??s 500 Index to the highest level in five years.

Amid Chinese Data, S&P 500 Rises to Five-Year Peak (Bloomberg)
Better-than-expected Chinese exports caused U.S. stocks to advance, sending the Standard & Poor‚??s 500 Index to the highest level in five years. ‚??The market is encouraged by evidence of healing on the international front,‚?Ě said Alan Gayle, senior strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Va. ‚??In the U.S., the earnings season is just getting started and there‚??s a lot of things that we don‚??t know. Investors will still be on that wait-and-see mode.‚?Ě

Debt Ceiling Could Delay Tax Refunds (CNBC)
The U.S. government could hit its debt ceiling by mid-February. After that, it would have to rely on tax receipts to operate, resulting in a partial shutdown where only essential services would be funded. “It’s probably reasonable to assume there will be some delay” in tax refunds, said Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. “Normally, February is a very high income-tax refund month. People who anticipate refunds file as early as they can.”

Dollar Drops Most Since September (MarketWatch)
After European Central Bank President Maio Draghi’s comments lowered hopes for an imminent cut in interest rates, the U.S. dollar dropped, pushing the euro up by the most since September. ‚??He sounded rather upbeat on the economic outlook,‚?Ě said David Song, an analyst at DailyFX. ‚??Market participants took it as a signal that the ECB would hold off on any additional rate cuts for the time being.‚?Ě

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