Wall Street ends week at record highs on robust data and earning figures

  • Financials and energy lead gains on Friday.
  • Dow Jones adds 2% on the week, Nasdaq and S&P 500 up 1.75%.
  • Today's data showed that the economic recovery remains healthy.

Major equity indexes in the U.S. started the day on a positive note and scaled new all-time highs as the earnings season kicked off with strong numbers from the financial sector and retail sales data showed that the economic activity preserved its momentum at the end of the year.

Moreover, a separate report showed that the annual core-CPI rose more than expected, ramping up the expectations of the Fed making at least three more rate hikes in 2018. Commenting on the inflation figures, “the economy is doing quite well right now ... and well enough for the Fed to feel compelled to take steps to take the edge off before inflation truly becomes problematic,” Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan, told Reuters.

The S&P 500 Financials Sector (SPSY) gained nearly 1% on Friday after BlackRock reported better-than-expected earnings and rose 3%. Meanwhile, JPMorgan added more than 1% following a report that forecasted that the tax overhaul would boost the profits in 2018. percent.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) also rose around 1% on Friday as crude oil prices preserved weekly gains and Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. based oil drillers added ten more rigs this week.

At the end of the day, the financial-heavy Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 225.51 points, or 0.88%, at 25,800.24, the S&P 500 added 18.25 points, or 0.66%, at 2,785.81 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 47.27 points, or 0.66%, at 7,259.05.

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