S&P, Dow open higher as bank shares rise

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock exchange on 8 January 2018. Reuters

Wall Street surged to fresh highs on Thursday as rising oil prices lifted energy stocks and upbeat forecast from No. 2 US carrier Delta Air Lines drove airline stocks higher.

Amazon rose 1.3 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent and reached an all-time high, with energy and industrials as the best-performing sectors.

Earnings from big banks were mixed, with JPMorgan Chase rising 1.7 percent after beating expectations, even as profits were hit by one-time effects of the tax law changes. In fact, the roughly 4.3% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and more than 4% rise for the S&P 500 index so far in 2018, represent the best start to a year since 2003, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

"I don't think you would've seen a big pop in bank stocks, no one's surprised by these numbers", said Ron Weiner president and founder of RDM financial in Westport Connecticut.


Shares of Facebook tumbled Friday after it announced an overhaul of its newsfeed, while United States stocks added to records following data showing higher retail sales in December. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index was under pressure, trading flat at 7,213, as Facebook Inc.'s shares (FB) fell 4.5% after late Thursday announcing changes to the news feed on its social-network platform.

BlackRock (BLK.N) rose 3.3 percent.

Industrial companies that advanced included Dow members Caterpillar and Boeing which won 2.0 and 2.4 percent and Cummins, which advanced 1.9 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,103 to 762.

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