Wall St climbs after week of strong bank results; market set for weekly gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Friday as Goldman Sachs was the latest big bank to report strong results and better-than-expected retail sales eased worries about demand.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The three major stock indexes were on track to post gains for the week as well.

Goldman Sachs Group jumped 3.4%, giving the Dow its biggest boost, as a record wave of dealmaking activity drove a surge in the bank’s quarterly profit.

Other big lenders also rose, and the S&P 500 bank index was up 2.6%.

Results from the big financial institutions this week have provided a strong start to third-quarter U.S. earnings, though investors will still be watching for signs of impacts from supply chain disruptions and higher energy and other prices in the coming weeks.

S&P 500 earnings are now forecast to have risen 32% in the third quarter from a year ago. The forecast, based on results from 41 of the S&P 500 companies and estimates for the rest, is up from 29.4% at the start of October, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“We’re starting to get into an earnings-driven rally here that I hope lasts. We’ll really see the results in the next couple of weeks as a great bulk of companies in all sectors report,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Investors also digested a Commerce Department report that showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September, while a preliminary reading for consumer sentiment in October came slightly below expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 395.05 points, or 1.13%, to 35,307.61, the S&P 500 gained 35.98 points, or 0.81%, to 4,474.24 and the Nasdaq Composite added 72.49 points, or 0.49%, to 14,895.92.

Airlines and other travel-related company shares edged higher, with the White House announcing it will lift travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, at land borders and for air travel.

The S&P 1500 Airlines index was up 0.3%, while cruise operator Carnival Corp was up 0.7%.

Moderna Inc shares were down 3.5%. A Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is delaying its decision on authorizing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents to check if the shot could increase the risk of heart inflammation.

The news came a day after an FDA panel voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people.

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms including Riot Blockchain gained as bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time since April.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.74-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 54 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 116 new highs and 46 new lows.

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