The US stock market had its best day since March on Thursday, as investors’ worries about inflation and potential interest rate increases were tempered by upbeat corporate earnings reports. The S&P 500 closed 1.7 per cent higher, its biggest one-day rise in seven months, though the blue-chip index remains about 2.4 per cent below its all-time high hit in early September.
It's been a solid first week of Q3 earnings so far as the largest U.S. banks posted another robust round of quarterly results. A rebounding economy allowed lenders to release more cash they had set aside for pandemic losses, while equity financing and trading boosted bottom lines. Don't forget about the deal bonanza that continued to ring the register for the banks' Wall Street operations, with a hefty quarter for mergers-and-acquisitions fees.
Consumers spent at a much faster pace than expected in September, defying expectations for a pullback amid pervasive supply chain problems, the Census Bureau reported Friday. Retail sales for the month increased 0.7%. Compared to a year ago, sales were up 13.9% on the headline number and 15.6% ex-autos. The increase came during a month when the government ended the enhanced benefits it had been providing during the Covid-19 pandemic and against forecasts that growth would slow in the third quarter.