Wall Street higher as consumer and bank stocks gain

Wall Street higher as consumer and bank stocks gain

Shares of Facebook tumbled Friday after it announced an overhaul of its newsfeed, while USA stocks added to records following data showing higher retail sales in December.

Investors were also hopeful 2018 financial forecasts from USA companies would beat Wall Street estimates as many analysts may not have tax savings fully reflected in their models as the tax bill was signed into law so late in December.

This pick up in near-term strength bodes well for small caps over the coming week, but it should be noted that the broader indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are nearing exhaustion.

Industrial companies that advanced included Dow members Caterpillar and Boeing which won 2.0 and 2.4 percent and Cummins, which advanced 1.9 percent.

The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3 percent last month.

Delta Air Lines rose about 2 percent after reporting upbeat quarterly profit as well as forecast, helped by higher business fares in a busy holiday season.

Amazon (AMZN.O) rose 2.2 percent to breach $1,300 for the first time.

The sector was also helped by a late-afternoon Bloomberg report that activist D.E. Shaw built a position in Lowe's Companies (LOW.N), sending its shares up 5.3 percent.

Many analysts believe the market has not yet priced in the higher profits that the corporate tax cut is expected to generate.

The S&P consumer discretionary index jumped 0.55 percent after data showed households bought a range of goods and figures for the prior month were revised higher, suggesting the economy exited 2017 with strong momentum.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,462 to 1,035.

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