Main stock indexes close at records as earnings get underway

The S&P energy sector (.SPNY) closed up 2 percent as Brent crude (LCOc1) went above $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014, boosted by a surprise drop in USA production and lower crude inventories.

All three indices closed at records on Thursday.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to 2,767.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 percent to 7,211.78. He predicted above-trend GDP growth with rising inflation in 2018. "The only threat to the stock market right now is high interest rates".

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.

In U.S. corporate news, JPMorgan Chase (+0.9%) and Wells Fargo (-0.6%) kicked off the Q4 earnings season with mixed results, as JPM beat earnings estimates while missing on revenues, while Wells Fargo reported in-line earnings on lower than expected revenue.

"This market feels this week like a deep breath before the onslaught of earnings reports", Clemons said.

BHP Billiton PLC (BBL) Given Consensus Recommendation of "Hold" by Brokerages
IBC downgraded the stock to "Sector Perform" rating in Friday, January 8 report. (NYSE:HOME) rating on Thursday, March 30. The stock of BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) earned "Underperform" rating by Macquarie Research on Tuesday, March 15.

Judge Allows 11-Year-old Girl to Use Medical Marijuana at School
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Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump's 'Ignorant, Racist Views' About Haiti
Despite Trump's Twitter responses, his "sh*thole" comments continue to spread and draw fury from across the world. Both nations have been praised by the U.S. government as stable democracies in the region.

Oil-linked shares with big gains included Dow member Chevron, up 3.1 percent, Apache, up 4.7 percent and Schlumberger, up 1.9 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.35 points, or 0.31 percent, to 25,655.08.

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

The S&P and the Dow opened higher on Friday on gains in banking shares, while the Nasdaq was dragged 5 percent lower by losses in Facebook.

Volume so far on United States exchanges was 6.88 billion shares, above the 6.39 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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