Stocks surge sharply as investors look to corporate earnings

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Updated 6 minutes ago

Stocks were solidly higher on Friday, but the market is on track to end this shortened holiday week virtually unchanged with investors remaining in a sustaining configuration. Investors will turn their attention to corporate earnings, which begin next week.

The S&P 500 Index was up 0.7% at 10 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3%.

Big companies will start reporting quarterly earnings next week, starting with big banks like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Analysts expect another strong quarter for Wall Street, due to the improving economy and fewer Americans in loan defaults since the start of the pandemic.

Banks have been among the top performing stocks on the S&P 500 this year. The KBW Bank Index of the 24 largest banks is up 26% this year alone, compared to the S&P 500’s 16% gain.

Investors continue to assess the potential impact of COVID-19 variants, particularly the highly contagious delta variant, as governments in some countries reimpose lockdowns and travel restrictions. The problem has been particularly severe in Asia and Oceania, where countries that largely avoided previous outbreaks now face their own rapidly growing workloads.

The growing number of coronavirus cases has been one of the reasons investors have returned to bonds in recent days. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill was 1.35%, but was only 1.29% on Thursday. Bond prices rise when yields fall.

Oil prices continued to climb, with crude oil briefly hitting $ 75 a barrel overnight. Members of the OPEC oil cartel have yet to come to a consensus on whether or not to increase oil production, which has caused volatility in energy markets over the past two weeks.

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AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed from Beijing.


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