Investing.com – Wall Street rounded off the week with an all-time high close buoyed by mostly upbeat earnings from major banks, while bullish economic data added to upside momentum.
Also supporting sentiment on banks were signs that inflation is gathering steam after data showed core consumer prices rose their fastest since January.
The Labor Department said on Friday its core Consumer Price index rose 0.3% in December, edging up 0.2% in November. The uptick in consumer prices in year-on-year through December rose to 2.1%.
Wells Fargo said the upbeat CPI data should help to allay some FOMC members' fears that “inflation is stuck at undesirably low levels.” Subdued inflation has been one of the key factors weighing on the pace of rate hikes.
Higher interest rates are seen as a boon for banks, boosting their net interest margin – the difference between the interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to their lenders.
In corporate news, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) closed more than 5% lower after the social media company announced Thursday that it will be changing its news feed algorithm to focus more on content from friends and family rather than from the public. RBC said it doesn’t expect the new measures to have a material impact on Facebook's advertising revenue growth.
'Bulls and Bears' on Wall Street
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) down 1.4%, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) down 0.6%, and Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) down 0.6%, were among the worst Dow performers of the session.
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