Stock market today: Dow wraps up best week since March as earnings season begins

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Stock market today: Dow wraps up best week since March as earnings season begins
Credit: © Reuters. -- The Dow closed higher Friday, wrapping up its best weekly gain since March as Wall Street banks lifted the curtain on the quarterly earnings season, with mostly better-than-expected results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3%, or 113 points, notching a 2.3% gain for the week. The Nasdaq was down 0.2%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.1%.

JPMorgan, Wells Fargo shine, but Citi, State Street falter on earnings stage

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM ) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) reported quarterly results that beat on the top and bottom lines, though both shares retreated from session highs after both banks increased the bad loan provisions and expected that customer deposits were likely to decline further.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C ), meanwhile, fell 4% after its earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates, pressured by weakness in its investment banking business.

“The long-awaited rebound in Investment Banking has yet to materialize, making for a disappointing quarter,” Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser said.

State Street (NYSE: STT ) plunged more than 12% after its quarterly revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates following a drop in net interest income as deposits fell.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ), and Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS ) are set to report quarterly results this week.

UnitedHealth, Eli Lilly lead health care stocks higher

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH ), a major Dow component, surged more than 7% after the health insurer lifted its outlook on full-year profit following second-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, driven by cost cuts.

The company said it now expects adjusted EPS of $24.70 to $25.00, compared with a prior range of o $24.50 to $25.00.

Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY ), meanwhile, said it had agreed to acquire obesity drug maker Versanis for up to $1.9 billion as the drugmaker looks to increase share in the weight-loss drug market.

Consumer stocks ride homebuilders higher

DR Horton (NYSE: DHI ), PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM ), and Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN ) were among the biggest gainers in consumer stocks as some on Wall Street touted optimism on the sector amid expectations that a pick-up in homebuilding activity will likely continue.

“Our channel checks and commentary from public homebuilders indicate the inflection in single-family housing starts that began in 2Q23 will continue into 2H23 due to ongoing strength in new home demand,” Bank of America said in a note. Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA ), also ended the day in the green to lift consumer stocks higher.

Microsoft gains as UBS says stock too attractive to ignore

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) closed up nearly 1% higher, sidestepping the weakness in tech after UBS upgraded its rating on the stock to Buy from Hold amid expectations for a boost from AI and an improving cloud demand backdrop.

"With the steep Azure growth deceleration now poised to moderate, AI catalysts ahead and recent stock underperformance, a more positive stance seems warranted," UBS said.

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