Off The Wire
Wall St tracks weekly gains on strong banks earnings, retail sales data
Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Friday and the main indexes were 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.
Other big lenders, including JPMorgan (JPM.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N), rose between 0.9% and 6.9%. The banking index (.SPXBK) added 1.6%, tracking a rise in 10-year Treasury yields .
The small-cap Russell 2000 index (.RUT) added 0.7% and was set for its best week since late August.
Strong results from big financial institutions have taken focus away from concerns about U.S. debt default, surging commodity prices and supply chain disruptions, which had fueled market volatility earlier this month.
"The economy continues to heal from the standpoint of bad debt and things like that are a bellwether of economic activity, so the banking system is in great shape and it is a great underpinning to the economy," said Josh Wein, portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds.
A Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September, partly due to higher prices, while a preliminary reading for consumer sentiment in October came slightly below expectations. read more
"Christmas is really the test of supply chain. We'll find out how closer to the ground, the consumer, the supply chain and the labor market are faring," Wein said.
At 11:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 274.81 points, or 0.79%, at 35,187.37.
The S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 23.64 points, or 0.53%, at 4,461.90, tracking its best week since late July, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 41.43 points, or 0.28%, at 14,864.86, set for its best weekly performance since late August.
Meanwhile, the White House announced it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, at land borders and for air travel. read more
Western Digital (WDC.O) slipped 1.1% as Goldman Sachs downgraded the storage hardware maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy".
Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Riot Blockchain (RIOT.O), Coinbase Global (COIN.O), MicroStrategy Inc (MSTR.O) and Marathon Digital (MARA.O) added between 2.5% and 7.2% as bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time since April. read more
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.21-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 51 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 108 new highs and 31 new lows.