US stocks have risen and the main indexes look set for weekly gains after Goldman Sachs capped a strong earnings season for big banks, while a surprise rise in retail sales raised optimism about economic recovery.
Goldman Sachs gained 1.5 per cent as a record wave of deal-making activity drove a surge in the bank’s quarterly profit.
Other big lenders including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo rose between 0.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent on Friday. The banking index added 0.8 per cent, tracking a rise in ten-year Treasury yields.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading, with economy-sensitive energy, financials and industrials rising the most.
Strong results from big financial institutions have taken focus away from concerns about surging commodity prices and supply chain disruptions, which had fueled market volatility earlier this month.
A Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September, but there are fears that supply constraints could disrupt the holiday shopping season amid continued shortages of motor vehicles and other goods.
“Everyone knows that these supply chain issues will last a little bit longer, but when you consider just how strong the earnings have been, there’s good reasons to be optimistic that there’s going to be continued momentum in the economy,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
In early trading on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 199.48 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 35,112.04, the S&P 500 was up 18.53 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 4,456.79, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 35.82 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 14,859.25.
Meanwhile, the White House announced it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective from November 8, at land borders and for air travel.
The S&P 1500 Airlines index jumped 1.5 per cent, while cruise operators Carnival Corp, Royal Carribean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings added between 1.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent.
This week’s move into rate-sensitive growth names such as Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Google-parent Alphabet continued, with their shares inching up.
Moderna Inc rose 1.2 per cent after a US FDA panel voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people.
Western Digital slipped 1.6 per cent as Goldman Sachs downgraded the storage hardware maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”.
Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Coinbase Global, China-based SOS, MicroStrategy Inc, Marathon Digital and Riot Blockchain added between 3.7 per cent and 7.8 per cent as bitcoin hit $US60,000 ($A80,943) for the first time since April.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.85-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.91-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 43 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 92 new highs and eight new lows.