Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 21, 2022.
Stocks rose on Friday as strong earnings results from some of the biggest banks and companies kicked off earnings season.
He Dow Jones Industrial Average it rose 173 points, or 0.5%. He S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both advanced 0.1%.
Wall Street is coming off its fourth straight day of gains, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 reaching their highest levels since April 2022.
JPMorgan Chase rose 0.3% after its second-quarter earnings beat expectations. The bank was buoyed by higher interest rates and rising interest income. fargo wells it also gained 0.5% thanks to better than expected results.
UnitedHealth shares rose 8% after the insurance giant reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The company also raised the lower end of its full-year earnings guidance.
“What we’ve seen from the earnings of the big banks, especially JPMorgan, is pretty resilient,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments.
“We are looking right now [that] default rates remain historically incredibly low and show no signs of skyrocketing further. That’s a good sign for consumers and the economy,” Ladner added.
Expectations for this season are bearish, with analysts forecasting a roughly 7% year-over-year drop in earnings for the S&P 500, according to FactSet. That would mark the worst earnings season since the second quarter of 2020, when earnings on the S&P 500 fell 31.6%.
Markets have been buoyed this week by new economic data that suggested inflation may be cooling. On a weekly basis, all three major averages are well on their way to gains. The general market index was up 2.5% for the week, while the Dow was up 1.9% through Thursday’s close. The Nasdaq Composite is the best, up 3.5% and on pace for its best week since March 17.
The latest Producer Price Index report showed inflation rising less than expected and was based on traders’ optimism from June Consumer Price Index data, which was released on Wednesday. Investors are now considering whether a strong economy illustrated by recent data could push stocks higher later in the year.
“The Goldilocks scenario is alive and well, in terms of declining inflationary pressures and [there’s] still fairly robust economic growth. So it’s a pretty good backdrop for risky assets,” Ladner said.