(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed in green amid reports that Spain may ask for aid from the European Union for recapitalizing its troubled banks.
S&P 500 Index advanced 0.81 percent to finish at 1,325.66. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.75 percent to end at 12,554.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.97 percent to close at 2,858.42.
Euro zone finance ministers reportedly plan to discuss on a potential bailout of Spain over the weekend.
In domestic economic news, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade gap narrowed to $50.1 billion in April from a revised $52.6 billion in March. Yet, the monthly number came in wider than economists expectations of $49.5 billion.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: NAV, ANR, TPX, FB, CHK, PRGS, FLT, MOH, NOK
In corporate news, Navistar International Corp.
) gained 17.63 percent after activist investor Carl Icahn raised his stake in the truck maker to roughly 12 percent, a day after the company posted a surprise quarterly loss and slashed its earnings guidance yet again this year. The stock rebounded after closing 14 percent lower on Thursday.Alpha Natural Resources Inc.
) retreated 2.61 percent after the coal producer said it will cut back coal output from Kentucky mines, citing continued market pressures and new regulatory actions on coal-fired power plants. Tempur-Pedic International Inc.
) rallied 14.07 percent after the mattresses maker said it is actively repurchasing shares and it had $200 million remaining in the share buyback program as of June 6. Tempur-Pedic's shares have lost 49 percent of their value since Wednesday, when the company lowered its full year outlook. Chesapeake Energy Corp.
) rose 2.86 percent after the oil explorer announced plans to sell its midstream assets in three separate deals for total expected cash proceeds of more than $4.0 billion.Facebook Inc.
) gained 3.0 percent. The social networking giant has launched its 'App Center' featuring mobile and web apps.
FleetCor Technologies Inc.
) dropped 5.00 percent after the payment processor announced that selling stockholders have agreed to sell 6.75 million shares in an underwritten offering.
Molina Healthcare Inc.
) soared 26.39 percent after the company won back Medicaid managed care provider contracts in the state of Ohio.Progress Software Corp.
) tumbled 11.19 percent after the enterprise software provider forecast a weak second-quarter.Nokia Corporation
) added 6.71 percent amid "trading chatter" that it could be taken over by Samsung.
European markets ended on a negative note after a report showed Germany's exports fell for the first time since December 2011. Germany's DAX lost 0.22 percent to close at 6,130.82. France's CAC40 shed 0.63 percent to finish at 3,051.69. The U.K. FTSE 100 declined 0.23 percent to end at 5,435.08.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.51 percent to end at 2,281.51. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.94 percent to close at 18,502.34. Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.09 percent to close at 8,459.26. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,718.87, up 0.42 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures shed 0.61 percent to $84.300 per barrel and natural gas futures rose 1.32 percent to $2.304 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures added 0.41 percent to $1,594.5 per ounce and silver futures edged 0.05 percent lower to $28.64 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dropped 0.37 percent against the U.S. dollar to $1.2514. The British pound fell 0.36 percent against the greenback to 1.5472, and the dollar dipped 0.26 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.4200.