By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mostly higher on Friday, as robust earnings from Main Street banks and a sharp rebound in housing starts in March sustained the positive mood created by Thursday’s retail sales and jobless claims data.
By 9:45 AM ET (1345 GMT). the Dow Jones Industrial Average had pushed to a new record high of 34,213 points, up 177 points, or 0.5% from Thursday’s close. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% but the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.2% as strong economic data again encouraged outflows into cyclical and value stocks.
Earlier, the Census Bureau reported that housing starts rose to their highest in nearly 15 years in March, rebounding 19% from a weather-depressed February. Building permits also surprised to the upside, rising to 1.766 million, just below their January high.
Among early movers, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) fell 1.2% after reporting a $911 million loss on trading with Archegos Capital, the family office of ex-fund manager that blew up at the start of the month. The disclosure took the gloss of a set of quarterly earnings that was in other respects as strong as the rest of Wall Street. PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) stock and State Street (NYSE:STT) stock rose 2.6% and 0.5% respectively as their quarterly updates turned out better than expected.
Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), meanwhile, fell 0.5% after the railroad operator reported a fall in revenue in the first quarter.
Battery maker Quantumscape’s (NYSE:QS) stock managed only the weakest of rebounds after tumbling on Thursday to its lowest in over three months on the back of a short report by Scorpion Capital. The stock rose 0.9% after the company said it stood by its data which, it said, “speaks for itself.” It didn’t offer any more detailed rebuttal of Scorpion’s claims, which were dismissed by analysts backing the stock as ‘hearsay’.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), which courted controversy last year when it tied up with Nikola, another aggressively-hyped electric mobility company, fell 0.5% after announcing plans to invest $2.3 billion in battery-making capacity together with LG Chem. The announcement comes only days after LG settled a long-running dispute over patent infringement with rival SK Hynix.
Wall Street Opens Higher as Banks, Housing Keep Mood Buoyant; Dow up 175 Pts
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