Markets Right Now: Solid gains for stocks in early trading

Stocks rally lifting S&P 500 to its third winning week in a row

Stocks rally lifting S&P 500 to its third winning week in a row

The logos for The Walt Disney Company and Chevron appear above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 12, 2019. The S&P 500 closed out the week just shy of topping an all-time high set back in late September, with the other two benchmarks closing within 2% of their own records.

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic pushed higher on Friday following strong earnings from JPMorgan Chase and the launch of a new Disney streaming service that wowed Wall Street.

Shares of Netflix fell 4.5 per cent.

ANALYST'S TAKE: The market is coming off a wobbly week as investors anxious that the early first-quarter earnings reports would come in even weaker than the low expectations analysts already have.

Bank of America rose 3.9% and Citigroup climbed 3.2%.

At 9:55 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 263.82 points, or 1.01%, at 26,406.87, the S&P 500 was up 20.17 points, or 0.70%, at 2,908.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 35.45 points, or 0.45%, at 7,982.81.

The Labor Department revealed that import prices had risen 0.6% in March, boosted by increased fuel costs and industrial supplies, while data for February was upwardly revised to show a 1% increase in import prices, the largest monthly advance in nearly three years. The average is still down slightly for the week. The Nasdaq rose 18 points, or 0.2%, to 7,966.

However, investors are hoping that the earnings season will be better than feared, helping the USA indexes reach all-time highs.

European stock markets were also all stronger at the close, with many banking stocks getting a lift from their U.S. counterparts. Health care stocks lagged.

The S&P index recorded 39 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 61 new highs and 16 new lows. That marks a turnaround from a severe contraction in February as the USA and China continue negotiating a resolution to their costly trade war.

Investors continue focusing on company earnings reports due during the next few months in hopes of gleaning clues regarding the trajectory of the US economy. Citigroup, UnitedHealth Group and Johnson & Johnson are among the larger companies releasing results next week.

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Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight 0.2 percent rise in imports with exports projected to grow 6.5 percent.

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said a derailment of the US-China trade talks remained the biggest near-term risk but offered an upbeat appraisal of the US economy as a whole.

MAKING BANK: JPMorgan Chase rose 4.1% after reporting solid profits in the first quarter.

Wells Fargo initially rose after its results beat analysts' forecasts, but it turned lower in midmorning trading and was down 2.8%. The stock fell 2.6%.

USA markets are primed for big gains to end the week after JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) kicked off earnings season with a bang.

The trend helped boost shares in other major banks.

Disney soared 10.3% after unveiling a new video streaming service to go up against Netflix. The service is well below the $13 monthly price tag for rival Netflix, whose stock fell 4.4%. Disney, which gained 11% after revealing details about its new streaming service Disney+, was more than enough to right the ship.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp jumped 32.6%, topping gains on the S&P 500, after Chevron Corp said it would buy the company in a cash-and-stock deal.

Oil prices have soared almost 40 percent so far this year, providing them more money and sending energy company revenues higher. The euro strengthened to $1.1296 from $1.1258.

The S&P 500 total return index hit a record high on Friday, underscoring the importance of reinvesting dividends.

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