Main stock indexes close at records as earnings get underway

Lloyd Doyle
January 13, 2018

All 11 S&P 500 sectors, meanwhile, are expected to post increases in both earnings and revenue, according to FactSet.

The S&P energy sector (.SPNY) closed up 2 percent as Brent crude (LCOc1) went above $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014, boosted by a surprise drop in USA production and lower crude inventories.

The consumer discretionary sector (.SPLRCD) saw strong gains in media and retail stocks, while the industrials index (.SPLRCI) was helped by airlines after news from No. 2 US carrier Delta Air Lines (DAL.N).

The S&P and the Dow opened higher on Friday on gains in banking shares, while the Nasdaq was dragged 5 percent lower by losses in Facebook.

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. The S&P 500 climbed 18 points, or 0.7%, to end at 2,786, for a weekly gain of 2%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 49 points, or 0.7%, to close at 7,261.

Recent data suggests the USA economy is picking up steam. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3 percent last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core CPI rising 0.2 percent. That dynamic means investors are eager to jump in and buy at the least sign of weakness, such as Wednesday, when all three indices fell for the first time all year. It traded at 2.01 percent.

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