By Amy Caren Daniel
(Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 hit a more than five-month high on Friday as gains in industrials and energy companies offset a drop in financials after a mixed bag of quarterly results from three big Wall Street banks.
The industrial sector gained 0.55 percent, with Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M all up around 1 percent, in the absence of any trade rhetoric overnight.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China could reopen trade talks if Beijing was willing to make significant changes.
Oil prices rose over 1 percent as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, boosting the energy sector 0.89 percent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors.
These gains helped the S&P hit 2,804.53 points, its highest since Feb. 2. The index is now about 2.5 percent from its all-time high of 2,872.87, hit on Jan. 26.
“There seems to be an increasing awareness that if trade tariffs escalate further that the companies should be able to work around it” said Stephen Lee, founding principal at Logan Capital Management.
“Companies have more of a flexibility now than they have had in the past, and part of that being regulatory and tax changes that happened earlier in the year.”
As the trade row continues, investors are looking ahead to what is expected to be a strong second-quarter earning season, though reports on Friday from three of the biggest U.S. banks failed to enthuse.
Citigroup slid 2.3 percent, the most among financials, after its revenue fell short of estimates due to lower debt underwriting. Wells Fargo fell 1.2 percent after its profit fell more than expected as lending slowed and costs rose.
JPMorgan shares were little changed. The stock was higher premarket after the bank’s profit beat estimates. The financial index fell 0.39 percent.
At 12:42 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 89.63 points, or 0.36 percent, at 25,014.52, the S&P 500 was up 3.95 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,802.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.27 points, or 0.09 percent, at 7,831.18.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher.
Netflix sank 3.2 percent after Deutsche Bank warned the company could fall short of subscriber growth numbers when it reports results on Monday.
McDonald’s fell 0.9 percent after the Iowa and Illinois health departments said they were investigating cyclospora infections linked to salads at its restaurants.
Johnson & Johnson dropped 1.4 percent, the most on the Dow, after a jury ordered it to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged its talc-based products contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
AT&T Inc’s shares fell 2 percent on the U.S. Justice Department’s plan to appeal a federal judge’s approval of the company’s already closed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.10-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 36 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 84 new highs and 32 new lows.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)