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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow hit record highs as Wall St indexes eye weekly gains

Fri 16th April, 2021 7:25pm
(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)
    * S&P 500, Dow set for fourth straight week of gains
    * Morgan Stanley wraps up earnings from big banks
    * Strong U.S. data boosts economic recovery hopes
    * Indexes: Dow up 0.36%, S&P 500 up 0.26%, Nasdaq down 0.02%

 (Adds comments, updates to mid-afternoon)
    By Shivani Kumaresan and David French
    April 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500  .SPX  and the Dow  .DJI 
posted fresh highs on Friday as investors pushed the benchmark
indexes toward weekly gains on the back of strong economic data,
falling Treasury yields and positive earnings from big U.S.
banks.
    Seven of the 11 S&P indexes were higher. Information
technology  .SPLRCT  was one of the laggards, off 0.1% after
closing at a record high the previous day, while the energy
 .SPNY  index dipped 0.6% on oil prices slipping.
    The S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average
are on course for their fourth straight week of gains, while the
technology-heavy Nasdaq  .IXIC  is less than a percent below its
own all-time closing high achieved on Feb. 12.
    The S&P 500 has hit record highs in six of the last seven
sessions, and the Dow surpassed its peak for the fourth session
in six.
    Investor confidence on the road ahead seems steady, with the
volatility index  .VIX , Wall Street's fear gauge, down 2.1% on
Friday and on course for its lowest close in 14 months.
    "Everyone is looking at just how far we can run before we
start raising interest rates," said George Catrambone, head of
Americas trading at DWS Group.
    "Until we see that significant inflation growth and the Fed
starts to talk about raising interest rates, I think it's going
to be goldilocks, and any disruptions in the market will be
opportunities to clean up your risk book."
    Further buoyant bank earnings came on Friday from Morgan
Stanley  MS.N , which reported a 150% jump in quarterly profit,
joining JPMorgan Chase & Co  JPM.N , Goldman Sachs Group Inc
 GS.N  and Bank of America  BAC.N  in reinforcing hopes of a
swift economic recovery.
    Still, the investment bank's shares fell 3.8% as it also
disclosed an almost $1 billion loss from the collapse of private
fund Archegos.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2M92XL
    Shares of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and
Wells Fargo & Co  WFC.N  rose between 0.7% and 1%, while the S&P
financials index  .SPSY  was up 0.5% after hitting a record high
in the session.
    "You are just seeing blow out earnings from the banks and
all the data pointing to a very strong reopening," said Thomas
Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital.
    By 2:07 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
rose 123.08 points, or 0.36%, to 34,159.07, the S&P 500  .SPX 
gained 10.75 points, or 0.26%, to 4,181.17 and the Nasdaq
Composite  .IXIC  dropped 2.79 points, or 0.02%, to 14,035.97.
    The Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates low
despite higher inflation has also revived demand for richly
valued technology stocks, although bond yields edged higher
again on Friday after hitting multi-week lows a day earlier.
 US/ 
    Tech behemoth Apple Inc  AAPL.O , among the stocks which led
Wall Street's recovery last year from the coronavirus-fueled
crash, slipped 0.5%.
    Bitcoin-related stocks including Riot Blockchain  RIOT.O 
and Marathon Digital  MARA.O  slumped about 7.5% and 6.5%
respectively after Turkey banned the use of cryptocurrencies and
crypto assets to purchase goods and services.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2M90AO
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.39-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
    The S&P 500 posted 137 new 52-week highs and no new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 139 new highs and 98 new lows.  


 (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru and David French
in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Anil D'Silva and Richard
Chang)
 ((Shivani.Kumaresan@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780;))
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