After a three-day downward streak due to investor concern regarding tapering of the quantitative easing or bond buying program of the Federal Reserve,  stock markets in the United States shifted upwards.

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According to analysts, the upward tick in the stock markets was driven by the latest Chinese export and import data, which exceeded the expectations of economists. The data signifies that China, the second largest economy worldwide, is stabilizing after suffering declines over the past two quarters.

In addition, the number of U.S. unemployment benefits claims declined to an average of 335,000 during the past four weeks that ended August 3. The number is in line with the consensus estimate of economists based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15,497 (+0.17%)
  • S&P 500- 1,697 (+0.38%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,669 (+0.41%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,049 (+0.54%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,816 (+0.80%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,529 (+0.28%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,318 (+0.70%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 13,605 (-1.59%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,655 (+0.31%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,276 (-0.17%)

Post Market Activity

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) gained as much as 25% today after reporting better than expected financial results and appointed Eric Leftkofsky as permanent CEO of the company. According to Eric Sheridan, analyst at UBS, the decision of the daily deals company in designating Leftkofsky to lead the company permanently provided a “new sense of stability.” He said he is bullish on Groupon’s mobile trends, which could produce faster and more stable revenue growth with higher margins. He upgraded his rating for the stock from sell to neutral. The stock traded as much as $11.22 a share today.

The stock price of JC Penney Company (NYSE:JCP) climbed nearly 8% after reports that Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, one of the largest shareholders of the company, urged the board to search for a new CEO to replace Mike Ullman within 30 to 45 days. Former CEO Allen Questrom is willing to serve JC Penney as chairman under the right conditions. He doesn’t want to work with a hostile board. The stock surged as much as $14.13 per share today.

T-Mobile US, Inc (NYSE:TMUS) moved higher after the company gained contract customers five times higher than the 140,000 expected by analysts. The wireless carrier gained 1.1 million customers including 688,000 contract customers in the second quarter. The stock is trading nearly $25 per share.

The stock value of Orbitz Worldwide, Inc (NYSE:OWW) skyrocketed by more than 37% after the company posted better than expected earnings results and guidance. The stock traded as high as $13.26 per share on Thursday.

Stereotaxis, Inc (NASDAQ:STXS) is one of the biggest losers today. The stock declined by 45% after reporting -$0.37 losses per share and $9.7 million revenue. Although the company showed improvements given the fact that its losses in the same period a year ago was -$0.91 and the consensus estimate was -$0.51, investors were disappointed because it missed the $10.8 million revenue estimate of analysts.