Banks led U.S. stock indexes mostly higher Friday, propelling the Nasdaq composite index to its fourth record high this week.
Investors welcomed quarterly earnings from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, all of which reported results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Financial stocks also benefited from an upward move in bond yields, which drives higher interest rates on loans.
Real estate stocks were the biggest laggard. Shares in energy companies also closed lower as crude oil prices declined. Mixed data on U.S. retail sales weighed on department store stocks.
Friday’s crop of company earnings kicks off several weeks of corporate earnings reports, giving investors new insight into the health of Corporate America and the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.27 points, or 0.03 percent, to 19,885.73. The average had been up by 61 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 4.20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,274.64. The Nasdaq added 26.63 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,574.12. The index has set a record-high close six times this year.
The major stock indexes headed higher early on in the day, as investors reacted to earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The three banking giants delivered quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, pushing their shares higher.
JPMorgan added 46 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $86.70. Bank of America rose 9 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $23.01. Wells Fargo gained 81 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $55.31.
Traders also reviewed the latest monthly snapshot of U.S. retail sales, which showed that sales rose 0.6 percent overall in December, mainly due to a pickup in online shopping and sales of autos and gasoline.
“If you back out gasoline increasing and auto sales increasing, it’s not an impressive number,” Kinahan said.
The retail sales report weighed down shares of several department store chains and clothing brands. By early afternoon, the market had begun to give up some of its gains.
PVH Corp., home to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other clothing brands, slid $3.82, or 4.1 percent, to $89.31. Nordstrom fell 83 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $44.20. Gap shed 34 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $23.66.
Traders also had their eye on companies that issued outlooks for their upcoming earnings reports.
Energy prices were mixed.
Benchmark crude oil fell 64 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close at $52.37 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, slid 56 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $55.45 a barrel in London.
The slide in crude prices helped pull down shares in energy sector stocks.
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes slid $1.50, or 2.4 percent, to $60.92, while drilling services company Transocean lost 36 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $15.48. Marathon Petroleum fell 87 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $48.38.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil slipped 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 3 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Major stock indexes in Europe closed higher.
Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 percent, while France’s CAC 40 gained 1.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent.
Earlier in Asia, some markets finished lower on disappointing trade data from China. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slumped 0.8 percent.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.39 percent from 2.36 percent late Thursday.
In currency trading, the dollar fell to 114.42 yen from 114.63 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.0646 from $1.0626.
The price of gold fell $3.60 to $1,196.20 an ounce. Silver slid 6 cents to $16.77 an ounce. Copper rose 2 cents to $2.69 a pound.