Wall St tracks weekly gains on strong banks earnings, retail sales data

3 minute read

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

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
  • Airlines, cruise operators jump on easing U.S. travel curbs
  • Retail sales up 0.7% in September despite shortages
  • Goldman Sachs rises on strong third-quarter earnings
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.79%, S&P 0.53%, Nasdaq 0.28%

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.

Goldman Sachs (GS.N) gained 2.7% as a record wave of dealmaking activity drove a surge in the bank's quarterly profit. read more

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 .

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Financials (.SPSY) and consumer discretionary (.SPLCRD) added more than 1% to scale new peaks.

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

The S&P 1500 Airlines index (.SPCOMAIR) jumped 0.9%, while cruise operators Carnival Corp (CCL.N), Royal Carribean (RCL.N) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH.N) added between 1.1% and 1.5%.

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) rose 1.3% after a U.S. FDA panel on Thursday voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people. 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.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru and Federica Urso in Gdansk; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.