Stocks Opened Higher after Bank Earnings, Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Friday as investors were relieved by bank earnings results and economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 52.46 points, or 0.26%, to 19,943.46. The S&P 500 was up 7.65 points, or 0.34%, to 2,278.09. The Nasdaq Composite added 29.86 points, or 0.54%, to 5,577.34.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said its fourth-quarter profit rose as the bank’s boost from trading helped results following the U.S. presidential election. The largest U.S. bank by assets reported a profit of $6.73 billion, or $1.71 a share. That compares with a profit of $5.43 billion, or $1.32 a share, in the same period of 2015. Revenue rose to $24.33 billion.

Fourth-quarter bank earnings kicked off Friday with Bank of America, which reported earnings per share of $0.40 on revenue of $20.22 billion. Total trading revenue missed expectations, coming in at $2.91 billion ($3.06 billion expected), while banking revenue was $1.22 billion ($1.14 billion expected).

Wells Fargo & Co. said its fourth-quarter profit fell. The San Francisco-based bank reported a profit of $5.27 billion, or 96 cents a share. That compares with $5.58 billion, or $1 a share, in the same period of 2015. Revenue slipped slightly to $21.582 billion from $21.586 billion.

Sales at U.S. retailers rose less than expected in December to finish the year on soft note, signaling potentially weaker economic growth in the final quarter of 2016. Retail sales rose 0.6% last month.

Wholesale inflation rose in December, and the yearly increase surged, as deflationary pressures from the swoon in energy prices began to fade. The producer price index rose 0.3% in December, the Labor Department said Friday.

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