US stocks hover near record highs on economic optimism and strong earnings

US stocks hover near record highs on economic optimism and strong earnings

US stocks hovered near record highs on Friday as investors cheered strong economic data from around the globe and strong corporate earnings.

China said its economy grew 18% in the first quarter of 2021, with the nation saw retail sales soar 34.2% in March. In the US, housing starts surged 19.4% to a a 15-year high on Friday after jobless claims tumbled to a pandemic-era low the prior day.

“The stock market continues to validate the optimistic forecasts from last year which predicted a strong economy that was driven by consumers emerging from their homes, emboldened by vaccinations or by a belief that the worst of Covid was behind us,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Independent Advisor Alliance chief investment officer.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:

Morgan Stanley concluded a blockbuster week for bank earnings, beating estimates in every major category – although the strong report was overshadowed by a $911 million loss linked to the Archegos Capital implosion.

Across Wall Street, Citigroup posted record profit, Goldman Sachs beat revenue and profit expectations on strong trading and investment-banking revenue, and JPMorgan and Wells Fargo turning in profit that surpassed Wall Street’s targets.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 0.4%, to $63.24 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.7%, to $67.38 per barrel, at intraday

Gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,783.85 per ounce.

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