US stocks finish higher as bank shares rebound

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks finished a strong week in positive fashion on Friday, shaking off early weakness and pushing higher amid a turnaround in banking shares.

Major indices opened the day lower following results from JPMorgan Chase and other large banks that signalled expectations for a “mild” recession in 2023.

But markets reversed course in the middle of the session, a sign “the weakness was seen as a buying opportunity,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare, who noted the bank forecasts did not imply a deep downturn.

The market is “reasonably confident we’re not going to see the worst-case scenario of a hard landing,” Mr O’Hare added.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 3,999.09, up 0.4 per cent for the day and gaining 2.7 per cent for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3 per cent to 34,302.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.7 per cent to 11,079.16.

The reversal also coincided with a surprisingly strong consumer sentiment report from the University of Michigan, said Mr Art Hogan, an analyst at B. Riley Financial.

Among individual companies, all four large banks that reported results finished in positive territory, with JPMorgan up 2.5 per cent, Citigroup 1.7 per cent, Bank of America 2.2 per cent and Wells Fargo 3.3 per cent.

Delta Air Lines fell 3.5 per cent after reporting better-than-expected results due to disappointment over its first quarter forecast, which reflects the hit from higher expected labour costs.

Tesla dropped 0.9 per cent as it announced it will cut the price of its best-selling electric vehicle models up to 20 per cent in Europe and the United States, launching a price war as more rivals hit the market. AFP


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