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Wall Street scales record highs on earnings optimism, data


By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) - continued its rally on Friday as fourth-quarter earnings season kicked off with solid from banks and robust sales drove gains for consumer

All three major indexes were on track for record closing highs for the second day in a row.

, the biggest U.S. lender by assets, said a U.S. tax overhaul would help future profits by reducing its tax bill and stimulating more business. The bank's shares rose more than 1 percent.

"The fact all the big money centre banks beat on the bottom line is a good omen for the rest of the earnings season," said William Lynch, at Hinsdale Associates, in Hinsdale,

rose 3 percent. The world's largest reported profit that beat estimates as investors flooded into the relatively low-cost funds.

While earnings beat expectations, its shares slipped 0.8 percent after it set aside $3.25 billion in the fourth quarter to cover legal expenses related to probes into its mortgage and sales practices.

The <.DJI> rose 202.56 points, or 0.79 percent, to 25,777.29, the <.SPX> gained 16.98 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,784.54 and the <.IXIC> added 43.96 points, or 0.61 percent, to 7,255.74.

The index <.SPLRCD> jumped 1.2 percent after an increase in sales showed households bought more goods, suggesting the economy exited 2017 with strong momentum.

The sector was also helped by a late-afternoon report in that activist has built a position in , sending that company's shares up 6.4 percent.

were also helped by a rise in Treasury yields after underlying U.S. consumer prices for December posted the biggest gain in 11 months, signalling a pickup in inflation.

rose 1.89 percent to breach $1,300 for the first time, while rose 1 percent.

Earnings for companies are expected to increase on an average by 12.1 percent in the quarter, with profit for financial services companies likely to increase 13.2 percent, according to I/B/E/S.

"The biggest thing continues to be the tax bill ... Finance and are higher tax bracket names. Some names have a 31 percent rate. If they go down to 21 percent, that's a big driver, especially in the space," said Randy Hare, of in Columbus,

was down 4.4 percent after it started changing the way it filters posts and videos on Feed.

fell 1 percent after the chipmaker said its chips are vulnerability to both variants of the Spectre security flaw, days after saying its risk for one of them was "near zero".

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.45-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The posted 161 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the recorded 214 new highs and 13 new lows.

(Additional reporting by in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by and Nick Zieminski)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 13 2018. 02:00 IST