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Stocks close at new highs on hopes for big earnings season

CNBC logo CNBC 7/14/2017 Fred Imbert

Stocks ended higher Friday as Wall Street parsed key corporate earnings and economic data.

The Dow rose 84 points to a record high, with Boeing contributing the most gains and Goldman Sachs the most losses. The S&P 500 climbed 0.47 percent to hit a record, with real estate leading advancers and financials dropping 0.9 percent. The Nasdaq outperformed, advancing 0.61 percent.

The major indexes also posted strong weekly gains.

Earnings season kicked off in earnest, with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all posting better-than-expected profits. Shares of JPMorgan and Citigroup were under pressure, however, after reporting declines in trading sales.

"They all beat on the bottom line. There was a bit of disappointment on the guidance but overall it's been a good start to the earnings season," said Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout. He also noted that, of the 30 S&P 500 companies that have reported, 80 percent have beat on the bottom line.

Raich added these companies have shown 15 percent earnings growth and 6.2 percent sales growth. "That number compares favorably to how these companies reported last quarter."

Overall earnings are expected to grow by 6.2 percent this quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ.

Wall Street also turned its sights on economic data, with retail sales and consumer inflation for June both disappointing.

Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, said in a note the " lack of inflation remains a concern," adding "potentially Yellen's Dovish stance was correct."

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled that future rate hikes will be gradual. Her remarks lifted the Dow to a record.

Stock futures and Treasurys ticked higher following the data releases.

"Every time bond yields go down the stock market ticks up, it seems," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "I hate to use the term 'Goldilocks' but we do have an economy that's growing but at a slow pace."

The benchmark 10-year yield briefly broke below 2.3 percent earlier on Friday.


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