US STOCKS-Wall St ends higher as Goldman rounds out parade of strong bank results

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 10/15/21 04:00 PM EDT

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* Retail sales up 0.7% in September despite shortages

* Goldman Sachs (GS) rises on strong third-quarter earnings (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday after Goldman Sachs (GS) became the latest big bank to report strong quarterly earnings, and Wall Street's three major indexes posted gains for the week.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) shares jumped, giving the Dow its biggest boost, as a record wave of dealmaking activity drove a surge in the bank's quarterly profit.

Other big lenders also rose and were among the biggest positive for the S&P 500. The index's bank index ended sharply higher.

Results from the big financial institutions this week have provided a strong start to third-quarter U.S. earnings, though investors will still watch in coming weeks for signs of impacts from supply chain disruptions and higher costs, especially for energy.

Forecasts now call for S&P 500 earnings to show a 32% rise in the third quarter from a year ago. The latest forecast, based on results from 41 of the S&P 500 companies and estimates for the rest, is up from 29.4% at the start of October, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

"We're starting to get into an earnings-driven rally here that I hope lasts. We'll really see the results in the next couple of weeks as a great bulk of companies in all sectors report," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Alcoa Corp (AA) shares surged after the aluminum producer reported stronger-than-expected results, announced a $500 million buyback program and initiated a quarterly cash dividend.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 33.35 points, or 0.75%, to end at 4,471.61 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 73.55 points, or 0.50%, to 14,896.98. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 384.83 points, or 1.10%, to 35,297.39.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported a surprise rise in retail sales in September, although investors still worried that supply constraints could disrupt the holiday shopping season. A preliminary reading for consumer sentiment in October came in slightly below expectations.

Some airline and other travel-related company shares edged higher, with the White House announcing it will lift travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8.

Moderna Inc (MRNA) shares were lower. A Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is delaying its decision on authorizing Moderna's (MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents to check if the shot could increase the risk of heart inflammation.

On Thursday, an FDA panel voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people.

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms including Riot Blockchain (RIOT) gained as bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time since April. (Additional reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru and Federica Urso in Gdansk; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Arun Koyyur and Nick Zieminski)

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