Wall Street surges as consumer and bank stocks gain

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock exchange on 8 January 2018. Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock exchange on 8 January 2018. Reuters

The S&P consumer discretionary index jumped 1.3 per cent after retail sales data showed households bought more goods, suggesting the economy exited 2017 with strong momentum.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. The reporting season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with results from the big US banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

Delta Air Lines shares closed up 4.8 percent at $58.52 after it predicted a double benefit from the USA corporate tax cut - savings on its own bill and an uptick in business travel as companies to spend tax savings. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent and reached an all-time high, with energy and industrials as the best-performing sectors.

Delta helped the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines index close up 4.2 percent.

While S&P 500 (SPX) and Dow Jones Industrials (DJIA) may be peaking out over the coming days, the Russell 2000 still looks early in this regard, and should be studied along with the others until some signs of confluence identify a broader market peak.

For the week, the S&P rose 1.6 per cent, compared with the Dow's two-per cent rise and a 1.8-per cent advance in the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 107 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 176 new highs and 18 new lows.

Volume so far on USA exchanges was 6.88 billion shares, above the 6.39 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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