Goldman Sachs gained 2.7 per cent as a record wave of deal-making activity drove a surge in the bank’s quarterly profit.
Other big lenders, including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, rose between 0.9 per cent and 6.9 per cent. The banking index added 1.6 per cent, tracking a rise in 10-year Treasury yields.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Financials and consumer discretionary added more than 1 per cent to scale new peaks.
The small-cap Russell 2000 index added 0.7 per cent and was set for its best week since late August.
Strong results from big financial institutions have taken focus away from concerns about U.S. debt default, surging commodity prices and supply chain disruptions, which had fueled market volatility earlier this month.
“The economy continues to heal from the standpoint of bad debt and things like that are a bellwether of economic activity, so the banking system is in great shape and it is a great underpinning to the economy,” said Josh Wein, portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds.
A Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September, partly due to higher prices, while a preliminary reading for consumer sentiment in October came slightly below expectations.
“Christmas is really the test of supply chain. We’ll find out how closer to the ground, the consumer, the supply chain and the labor market are faring,” Wein said.
At 11:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 274.81 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 35,187.37.
The S&P 500 was up 23.64 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 4,461.90, tracking its best week since late July, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 41.43 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 14,864.86, set for its best weekly performance since late August.
Meanwhile, the White House announced it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, at land borders and for air travel.
The S&P 1500 Airlines index jumped 0.9 per cent, while cruise operators Carnival Corp, Royal Carribean and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings added between 1.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent.
Moderna Inc rose 1.3 per cent after a U.S. FDA panel on Thursday voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people.
Western Digital slipped 1.1 per cent as Goldman Sachs downgraded the storage hardware maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”.
Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Riot Blockchain, Coinbase Global, MicroStrategy Inc and Marathon Digital added between 2.5 per cent and 7.2 per cent as bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time since April.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.21-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 51 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 108 new highs and 31 new lows.