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U.S. stocks are sharply higher this morning, after Chinese stocks gained 3.2% last night. Data shows the Chinese economy grew at 6.8%in Q4of 2015. For 2015, China's growth slowed to a 25-year low of 6.9%. The world's second-largest economy continues to shift away from its manufacturing roots. (CNBC)

 

Bank of America reported a 9.8% rise in profits for the fourth quarter of the year. The second largest U.S. bank reported profits of $3.01 billion, up from $2.74 billion, last year. Total revenue rose 4.3% to $19.53 billion. Global markets revenue rose 31%, accounting for 16% of total revenue. (Reuters)

 

UnitedHealth ended 2015 with a 19% drop in fourth-quarter profits. The company earned a profit of $1.22 billion for Q4, down from $1.51 billion in the previous year. The company had revenue of $43.6 billion. Earnings from the company's pharmacy benefits management unit jumped 50%. (AP)

 

Royal Dutch Shell is exiting a multi-billion-dollar Abu Dhabi gas field project, calling it uneconomic in the current downturn. Major write downs were not expected. (CNBC)

 

The S&P 500 is up 28 and the NASDAQ is up 69. The MSCI international index is up.

 

Oil is up 31 cents at $29.73. According to the International Energy Agency Chinese oil demand likely hit a record high in 2015.

 

Gold is down $6 at $1085 a Troy ounce.

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