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US stock indexes end mostly higher on solid bank earnings

FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange at sunset, in lower Manhattan. U.S. stock indexes moved higher in early trading Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 as investors pored over earnings reports from several big lenders. Banks and other financial companies were up the most. Utilities were the biggest laggard. Energy stocks also fell as crude oil prices headed lower. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange at sunset, in lower Manhattan. U.S. stock indexes moved higher in early trading Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 as investors pored over earnings reports from several big lenders. Banks and other financial companies were up the most. Utilities were the biggest laggard. Energy stocks also fell as crude oil prices headed lower. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Banks led U.S. stock indexes mostly higher Friday, propelling the Nasdaq composite index to its fourth record high this week.

Investors welcomed quarterly earnings from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, all of which reported results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. Financial stocks also benefited from an upward move in bond yields, which drives higher interest rates on loans.

Real estate stocks were the biggest laggard. Shares in energy companies also closed lower as crude oil prices declined. Mixed data on U.S. retail sales weighed on department store stocks.

Friday's crop of company earnings kicks off several weeks of corporate earnings reports, giving investors new insight into the health of Corporate America and the economy.

"We all thought financials would do well," said J.J. Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief strategist. "Now how about the other areas of the economy?"

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.27 points, or 0.03 per cent , to 19,885.73. The average had been up by 61 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.20 points, or 0.2 per cent , to 2,274.64. The Nasdaq added 26.63 points, or 0.5 per cent , to 5,574.12. The index has set a record-high close six times this year.

Small-company stocks rose more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index jumped 10.98 points, or 0.8 per cent , to 1,372.05.

The major stock indexes headed higher early on in the day, as investors reacted to earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The three banking giants delivered quarterly results that exceeded Wall Street's expectations, pushing their shares higher.

JPMorgan added 46 cents, or 0.5 per cent , to $86.70. Bank of America rose 9 cents, or 0.4 per cent , to $23.01. Wells Fargo gained 81 cents, or 1.5 per cent , to $55.31.

Traders also reviewed the latest monthly snapshot of U.S. retail sales, which showed that sales rose 0.6 per cent overall in December, mainly due to a pickup in online shopping and sales of autos and gasoline.

"If you back out gasoline increasing and auto sales increasing, it's not an impressive number," Kinahan said.

The retail sales report weighed down shares of several department store chains and clothing brands. By early afternoon, the market had begun to give up some of its gains.

PVH Corp., home to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other clothing brands, slid $3.82, or 4.1 per cent , to $89.31. Nordstrom fell 83 cents, or 1.8 per cent , to $44.20. Gap shed 34 cents, or 1.4 per cent , to $23.66.

Traders also had their eye on companies that issued outlooks for their upcoming earnings reports.

Pandora Media climbed 6.3 per cent after the streaming music company issued a strong revenue forecast. The company also said it will cut about 7 per cent of its jobs to reduce costs. The stock added 76 cents to $12.765.

HomeStreet fell 6 per cent after the real estate lender forecast disappointing fourth-quarter results. It took in fewer mortgage applications as interest rates began rising. The stock slid $1.85 to $29.10.

GameStop tumbled 8.1 per cent after the video game retailer said holiday revenue dropped because of discounts and weak sales of new "Call of Duty" and "Titanfall" games. The stock shed $1.99 to $22.73.

Energy prices were mixed.

Benchmark crude oil fell 64 cents, or 1.2 per cent , to close at $52.37 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, slid 56 cents, or 1 per cent , to close at $55.45 a barrel in London.

The slide in crude prices helped pull down shares in energy sector stocks.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes slid $1.50, or 2.4 per cent , to $60.92, while drilling services company Transocean lost 36 cents, or 2.3 per cent , to $15.48. Marathon Petroleum fell 87 cents, or 1.8 per cent , to $48.38.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil slipped 2 cents to $1.65 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 3 cents, or 1 per cent , to $3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Major stock indexes in Europe closed higher.

Germany's DAX rose 0.9 per cent , while France's CAC 40 gained 1.2 per cent . Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.6 per cent .

Earlier in Asia, some markets finished lower on disappointing trade data from China. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.5 per cent . Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 per cent . South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 per cent , while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slumped 0.8 per cent .

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.39 per cent from 2.36 per cent late Thursday.

In currency trading, the dollar fell to 114.42 yen from 114.63 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.0646 from $1.0626.

The price of gold fell $3.60 to $1,196.20 an ounce. Silver slid 6 cents to $16.77 an ounce. Copper rose 2 cents to $2.69 a pound.

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