US stocks hover near record highs on economic optimism and strong earnings
Reuters / Brendan McDermid
- The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average hovered near records on strong economic data reports.
- US housing starts reached a 15-year high, while Chinese economic growth impressed.
- Investors also cheered a week of blockbuster bank earnings, which saw Morgan Stanley report on Friday.
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US stocks hovered near record highs on Friday as investors cheered strong economic data from around the globe and strong corporate earnings.
China said its economy grew 18% in the first quarter of 2021, with the nation saw retail sales soar 34.2% in March. In the US, housing starts surged 19.4% to a a 15-year high on Friday after jobless claims tumbled to a pandemic-era low the prior day.
“The stock market continues to validate the optimistic forecasts from last year which predicted a strong economy that was driven by consumers emerging from their homes, emboldened by vaccinations or by a belief that the worst of Covid was behind us,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Independent Advisor Alliance chief investment officer.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:
- S&P 500: 4,181.34, up 0.3%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 34,208.82, up 0.5% (173 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 14,011.87, down 0.2%
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Morgan Stanley concluded a blockbuster week for bank earnings, beating estimates in every major category – although the strong report was overshadowed by a $911 million loss linked to the Archegos Capital implosion.
Across Wall Street, Citigroup posted record profit, Goldman Sachs beat revenue and profit expectations on strong trading and investment-banking revenue, and JPMorgan and Wells Fargo turning in profit that surpassed Wall Street’s targets.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 0.4%, to $63.24 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.7%, to $67.38 per barrel, at intraday
Gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,783.85 per ounce.
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