U.S. stocks notch record highs amid strong earnings

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-14 00:27:55|Editor: yan
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NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks posted solid gains and notched record highs for the week, as investors bet on a strong corporate earnings season.

Shares of JP Morgan Chase ticked up Friday, after the financial giant posted better-than-expected earnings.

The bank announced fourth-quarter 2017 net income of 4.2 billion U.S. dollars, or 1.07 dollars per share.

BlackRock and Wells Fargo also reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Wells Fargo posted fourth quarter net income of 6.2 billion dollars, or 1.16 dollars per diluted share.

For the entire financial sector, Stephen Guilfoyle, president of Sarge986 LLC, estimated earnings growth come in somewhere between 3 percent and 3.5 percent.

Shares of Delta rose 4.76 percent to close at 58.52 dollars apiece on Thursday, after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

The latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that the S&P 500 companies' blended earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017 are expected to rise 12.1 percent year on year, while the revenues are forecast to increase 7.0 percent.

Meanwhile, analysts will also be looking for clues about how the recent changes to the U.S. tax code will impact each company. President Donald Trump signed a bill last month that cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

U.S. equities have carried over the momentum from 2017 into the new year thus far. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have closed lower only once this year, while the Dow has fallen just twice.

"U.S. equity markets have risen due to positive U.S. payrolls and manufacturing data in addition to benefits from corporate and individual tax reform," Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer of the U.S. Krane Funds Advisors, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

On the economic front, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in December, its largest increase since January 2017.

In the week ending Jan. 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 261,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 250,000, said the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 250,750, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 241,750.

In another report, U.S. Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.1 percent in December, seasonally adjusted.

U.S. import prices ticked up 0.1 percent in December, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, following a 0.8-percent rise the previous month. In contrast, U.S. export prices edged down 0.1 percent in December, after advancing 0.5 percent in November.