NEW YORK: Healthy bank earnings helped lift Wall Street at the open on Wednesday, putting US stocks on track for a second straight day of gains.
Investors showed continued appetite for equities, shrugging off a set of worries about trade wars and geopolitics that had sent stocks plummeting in late 2018.
About 10 minutes into the day’s trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent at 24,164.76. while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to 2,618.24.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent to 7,050.51.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs jumped four percent after beating expectations, posting fourth-quarter profits of $2.3 billion even though revenues were flat year-over-year.
Bank of America shares soared five percent after likewise beating estimates to post quarterly net profits $7.04 billion despite weaker revenues.
Patrick O’Hare of Briefing.com said Wednesday that markets had mostly set aside earlier year-end worries about slowing global growth, Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and the US-China trade war.
“It’s fair to say that the no-confidence vote in the US stock market in December has been supplanted with a vote of confidence in early 2019,” he wrote.
Asset manager BlackRock added 3.4 percent despite falling short of Wall Street’s earnings expectations.
But shares in Ford, the second-largest US automaker, fell 0.9 percent after the company announced it would post $112 million loss for the fourth quarter, but after charges stemming from the drive to cut $11 billion in costs, it would still post a profit. —AFP