NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished at fresh records on Friday (Jul 14) following solid bank earnings, while the dollar retreated after lacklustre US data raised questions about additional Federal Reserve rate hikes.
The Dow and S&P 500 ended at fresh records in anticipation that the positive bank results foreshadow a generally strong earnings period. The records, the third in a row for the Dow, capped a strong week for US stocks that some analysts attributed to commentary from Fed Chief Janet Yellen that was more dovish than expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.65 points (0.39 per cent) to 21,637.74 and its third straight record.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 11.44 points (0.47 per cent) to end at 2,459.27, beating the previous record set on Jun 19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 38.03 points (0.61 per cent) to 6,312.47.
Equity markets elsewhere were mixed, with London and Frankfurt down, Tokyo up and Paris flat.
JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all reported higher earnings than expected by Wall Street analysts, showing the benefits of higher US interest rates, despite a drop in revenue from trading divisions.
However, share prices for all three banks fell, with JPMorgan losing 0.9 per cent, Citigroup 0.4 per cent and Wells Fargo 1.1 per cent.
"The fact that the banks started off the earnings season with very good earnings will bode well," said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates. "Most strategists expect the season to be a good one with earnings going up at least six per cent, maybe as much as nine per cent."
On foreign exchanges, the dollar struggled after disappointing US inflation and retail sales data for June, falling against the pound and the euro.
"The morning's data, particularly the cooler than expected CPI figures, seem to justify Fed Chair Janet Yellen's more cautious tone this week in her Congressional testimony," said Omer Esiner, analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.
"The lack of meaningful evidence of a strong rebound in the economy in the second half of this year could continue to keep the dollar pressured."
Oil prices rose for the fifth straight day amid signs of greater balance between supply and demand.