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US STOCKS-Wall St gains after economic data; tech shares give a boost
October 13, 2017 / 7:34 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St gains after economic data; tech shares give a boost

* Obamacare subsidies removed: Insurers, hospital stocks hit

* BofA up, Wells Fargo mixed after reports

* Indexes up: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 500 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Friday, hitting record highs again, helped by upbeat sentiment and retail sales data as well as gains in technology shares.

Also, Netflix shares were up 1.8 percent and hit a record high at $200.82 after a slew of price target increases ahead of its earnings report on Monday.

The market received a boost earlier in the day after data showed U.S. retail sales surged by the most in 2-1/2 years in September. Also, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit its highest since January 2004.

Shares of big banks were mixed following reports from Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, rose 2.1 percent after the lender’s profit topped estimates due to higher interest rates and a drop in costs.

But Wells Fargo tumbled 2.8 percent, set for its biggest drop since mid-April, after reporting lower-than-expected revenue for the fourth straight quarter due to a decline in mortgage banking revenue.

The reports from the Wall Street banks kicked off the third-quarter earnings season, with investors hoping profit growth will help justify valuations after a rally that has sent the S&P 500 up about 14 percent so far this year.

“Its a risk-on day. You see technology and Internet-related stocks doing well. You also have crude oil up. That’s helping that sector,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in New York.

Apple, up 0.6 percent, gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, and the S&P technology index was up 0.6 percent. The energy index was up 0.1 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,887.52, the S&P 500 gained 4.95 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,555.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.17 points, or 0.31 percent, to 6,611.68.

That set the S&P and the Dow on track to close higher for the fifth straight week and the Nasdaq for the third.

In other data on Friday, consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in eight months as hurricanes Harvey and Irma boosted demand.

Limiting the day’s gains, the healthcare sector was down 0.2 percent as health insurers and hospital operators tumbled on news that President Donald Trump scrapped billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidies to private insurers for low-income Americans.

Centene sank 3.4 percent, Molina Healthcare dropped 3.5 percent and Anthem fell 2.9 percent.

Tenet Healthcare and Community Health System also declined.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.60-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favored advancers. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Patrick Graham and James Dalgleish)

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