Daily Data Flow: Stocks Rise as Investors await Obama; United States Moving towards Energy Independence; Chinese New Year Brings Tourists to United States

Earnings Boost Stocks, Investors await Obama (Bloomberg)
Once again, earnings surpassed estimates, and U.S. stocks rose as a result. ???This market is front-running better economic and earnings news,??? John Augustine, chief market strategist at Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, said. ???We all think of a correction coming in February. Guess what, we probably won???t get a correction in February. This market has got upward momentum.??? Meanwhile, investors await President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight in anticipation of the effects it will have on the market.

Citigroup Study: United States Moving towards Energy Independence (CNBC)
According to a study from Citigroup, a combination of rapidly evolving domestic oil and gas production and quickly declining demand could result in the United States importing oil from nowhere except Canada in as few as five years. This would result in a drop in prices worldwide, which would harm current exporters to the United States. “OPEC will find it challenging to survive another 60 years, let alone another decade,” the report by Edward Morse and other Citi analysts said. “But not all of the consequences are positive, for when it comes to the geopolitics of energy, the likely outcomes are asymmetric, with clear cut winner and losers.”

Chinese New Year Benefits U.S. Tourism (CNBC)
Surprisingly, many Chinese citizens are choosing to celebrate the arrival of their new year with a trip to the United States, spending both part of their two-week celebration and part of their income on U.S. soil. Chinese tourism during the Chinese New Year celebration has increased dramatically in recent years, and, as Chinese visitors on average spend more than tourists from elsewhere, businesses which prepare for the vacationers are reaping the benefits.