"You are just seeing blow out earnings from the banks and all the data pointing to a very strong reopening," said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital.
"So it's a day for (the so-called) 'reopening trade' with strong financials."
Morgan Stanley reported a 150% jump in quarterly profit on Friday, joining JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America in reinforcing hopes of a swift economic recovery.
Still, the investment bank's shares fell 2.9% as it also disclosed an almost $1 billion loss from the collapse of private fund Archegos. read more
Shares of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo & Co rose between 0.7% and 2.4%, while the S&P financials index was up 0.4% after hitting a record high earlier in the day.
People are seen on Wall St. outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021.
By 12:04 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 101.65 points, or 0.30%, at 34,137.64, the S&P 500 was up 8.02 points, or 0.19%, at 4,178.44, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 7.80 points, or 0.06%, at 14,030.96.
The Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates low despite higher inflation has also revived demand for richly valued technology stocks, although bond yields edged higher again on Fridayafter hitting multi-week lows in the previous session.
Tech behemoths Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Tesla Inc and Microsoft Corp, which led Wall Street's recovery last year from the coronavirus-fueled crash, slipped between 0.2% and 1.5%.
The information technology index pulled back from an all-time high hit in early trading.
"The biggest risk that could cause a (stocks) sell off is the development of COVID-19 variants, a slowdown in the reopening and persistent inflation," Hayes said.
Bitcoin-related stocks including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital slumped about 4% after Turkey banned the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to purchase goods and services. read more
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.15-to-1 on the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers 1.53-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 136 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 129 new highs and 91 new lows.
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