Friday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The markets were on a tear on Friday as strong earnings, a positive employment report, and optimistic manufacturing data from Europe and China helped pushed the Dow past 14,000 for the first time since 2007.

At 12:40 p.m.: DJIA: +0.98%, S&P 500: +0.95%, NASDAQ: +1.23%.

Here are three stories that helped fuel the optimism:Boxing Gloves

1) Despite Washington D.C. attracting attention to itself like a ring girl at MGM Grand, stocks came out of the corner swinging in January. With spending cuts in the fiscal cliff delayed, along with the debt ceiling, stocks logged a monthly performance worthy of record books. In January, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 5.8 percent to close at 13,860, while the S&P 500 gained 5 percent to finish just shy of 1,500. The Nasdaq climbed 4.1 percent higher.

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It was the best January for the Dow since 1994 and the best for the S&P 500 since 1997. Both indices posted their best month since October 2011. According to TrimTabs Investment Research, nearly $80 billion flowed into stock mutual funds and exchange traded funds in January, the best monthly haul in at least a decade… (Read more.)