REUTERS: A surge in technology stocks sent the major Wall Street indexes to record highs on Friday, but a drop in health insurers kept the rally in check, while banks were little changed after mixed reports from Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Bank of America , the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, rose 1.10 percent after the lender's profit topped estimates due to higher interest rates and a drop in costs.
But Wells Fargo tumbled more than 3 percent, set for its biggest drop since mid-April, after reporting lower-than-expected revenue for the fourth straight quarter due to a decline in mortgage banking revenue.
The reports from the Wall Street banks kicked off the third-quarter earnings season, with investors hoping profit growth will help justify valuations after a rally that has sent the S&P 500 up about 14 percent so far this year.
"Because of the reach that financials have into the economy, the market likes to see its what earnings are reflecting, be it on loan growth, its really trying to look at the health of the economy," Nana Adae, global investment specialist, J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Chicago.
The market got a boost earlier in the day after data showed retail sales surged by the most in 2-1/2 years in September, while consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in eight months as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma boosted demand.
Still, the data was below estimates on both counts and failed to move year-on-year core inflation for the fifth month, putting no new pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten borrowing costs.
At 11:03 a.m. ET (1503 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 34.06 points, or 0.15 percent, at 22,875.07, the S&P 500 was up 5.42 points, or 0.21 percent, at 2,556.35 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 20.14 points, or 0.31 percent, at 6,611.65.
That set the S&P and the Dow on track to close higher for the fifth straight week and the Nasdaq for the third.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher on the day, led by 0.51 percent gain in the technology index .
The gains were led by Apple and Facebook and Microsoft , which rose between 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent.
Netflix shares were up 1 percent, hitting a record high at US$200.81, after a slew of price target increases ahead of its earnings report on Monday.
The healthcare sector was down 0.27 percent as health insurers tumbled on news that President Donald Trump scrapped billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidies to private insurers for low-income Americans.
Centene sank 5.72 percent, Molina Healthcare dropped 4.82 percent and Anthem fell 3.10 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,899 to 845. On the Nasdaq, 1,588 issues rose and 1,130 fell.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)