MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Logs 24th Record Of 2017 As Banks Rise Ahead Of Earnings

By Sue Chang, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nasdaq extends winning streak to fifth session

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The Dow on Thursday closed at a record for the 24th time in 2017, as gains in the financial sector helped the broader market to book modest gains ahead of a roster of corporate results from the U.S.'s biggest banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.95 points, or 0.1%, to close at 21,553.09. The S&P 500 index gained 4.58 points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,447.83. The rise by the broad-market index was supported by a 0.6% climb in the financials sector--the best performer among the index's 11 sectors.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 13.27 points, or 0.2%, to 6,274.44, marking the tech-heavy gauge's fifth straight finish in the green.

Another bright spot for the market was the beleaguered retail sector, with one popular way to invest in the sector, SPDR S&P Retail ETF(XRT), posting its best daily climb in of the year, up 2.3%, led by a 8.6% surge in shares of Camping World Holdings Inc.(CWH) and J.C. Penney Co. Inc.(JCP), up 7.8%.

The retail resurgence was underpinned by Target Corp. (TGT), which said it now expects a surprise "modest increase" in same-store sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/targets-stock-jumps-after-raising-sales-profit-outlook-2017-07-13) for the fiscal second quarter, citing improved traffic and sales trends. Its stock climbed 4.8%.

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Thursday trading action came as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivered a second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, reiterating dovish comments that appeared to bolster investor confidence on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-in-holding-pattern-as-traders-wait-for-yellen-2017-07-12).

Read:The stock market may not be able to defy gravity for much longer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-stock-market-may-not-be-able-to-defy-gravity-for-much-longer-2017-07-12)

Yellen told a Senate Banking Committee on Thursday the federal-funds rate wouldn't need to rise significantly to "get to a neutral policy stance."

See:Live blog and video of Yellen's testimony (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-in-holding-pattern-as-traders-wait-for-yellen-2017-07-12)

Some investors pocketed profits in response to the strong gains in Wednesday's session but the market was relatively quiet, according to Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management.

In other Fed news, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, in an essay (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dallas-feds-kaplan-becomes-third-fomc-member-to-question-need-for-more-rate-hikes-2017-07-13), said he wants to see further evidence of a recovery in inflation before considering another rate increase.

Wall Street is expecting corporate results from Wells Fargo & Co.(WFC), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Dow component J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which will be used to partially to gauge the health of the economy. Bank earnings also set the early tone for the start of second-quarter earnings season.

Read:Bank earnings: Expect a weak quarter as hopes for a "Trump Bump" fizzle (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-earnings-expect-another-meh-quarter-of-weak-trading-revenue-2017-07-10)

A prolonged bout of quietude, which is likely to weigh on trading volumes, is expected to hurt bank revenues, as well as persistently low yields despite the Fed's tightening efforts. Higher yields and more active trading are bullish for the banking sector.

Thursday's rise for the sector (XLF)may also suggest that investors are betting that the industry can outperform these lowered expectations.

Economic docket: On the economic front, first-time jobless claims fell by 3,000 in the latest week, reflecting an extremely low level of layoffs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-jobless-claims-drop-3000-to-247000-2017-07-13) that has become the norm as an economic recovery stretches into its ninth year.

Separately, producer prices rose 0.1% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-wholesale-inflation-up-slightly-in-june-but-no-longer-rising-rapidly-ppi-shows-2017-07-13), about even with expectations.

See MarketWatch's Economic Calendar. (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Oil blues: Oil prices recovered from an earlier drop to settle higher. The International Energy Agency said global oil supply in June rose by 720,000 barrels (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/iea-raises-oil-demand-forecast-says-output-increased-in-june-2017-07-13) to 97.46 million a day, boosted by both higher production from OPEC and non-OPEC producers such as the U.S.

Stock movers: Shares of Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) dropped 1.2% after surging to a record close on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidias-stock-jumps-to-6th-straight-gain-after-suntrust-upgrade-2017-07-12) on the back of an upgrade at SunTrust.

Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-profit-misses-estimates-but-revenue-rises-2017-07-13), although revenue rose. Shares fell 1.8%.

Snap Inc. (SNAP) surged 3% after Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the Snapchat parent to buy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snaps-stock-surges-after-stifel-turns-bullish-as-selloff-as-created-a-compelling-opportunity-2017-07-13), saying that a recent selloff in the stock had created a "compelling" opportunity.

U.S.-listed shares of Novartis AG(NOVN.EB) fell 0.8% despite a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel late Wednesday unanimously recommended the agency approve one of its cancer drugs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/novartis-gets-fda-panel-recommendation-for-leukemia-drug-approval-2017-07-12).

NRG Energy Inc.(NRG) jumped 5.3%, extending its climb on Wednesday, which was its best-ever one-day percentage gain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nrg-energys-stock-rockets-to-biggest-ever-one-day-gain-2017-07-12).

Tiffany & Co. (TIF) rose 1.7% after it named Alessandro Bogliolo as its new chief executive (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tiffany-names-diesel-head-alessandro-bogliolo-ceo-2017-07-13-6915717), effective Oct. 2.

Other markets: Asian stocks closed mostly higher, while European equities (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rise-again-building-on-largest-advance-in-212-months-2017-07-13) added to their Yellen-fueled gains.

Most metals fell with gold finishing weaker while the ICE Dollar Index was mostly unchanged.

--Sara Sjolin contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 13, 2017 17:36 ET (21:36 GMT)