Stocks Rally as Strong Earnings Wake up the Bulls


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The Dow looked to post its first back-to-back advance of the year as traders cheered strong bank earnings.

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Today's Markets

As of 3:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 129 points, or 0.79%, to 16503, the S&P 500 advanced 11.3 points, or 0.61%, to 1850 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 35.3 points, or 0.84%, to 4218.

It's been a strong earnings season for banks for far. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) shares rallied ahead of the opening bell after the No. 2 U.S. bank posted better-than-expected quarterly results. Fellow banking giants J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) also revealed fourth-quarter beats this week.

On the economic front, the Labor Department said wholesale inflation rose by 0.4% in December from the month prior, the biggest increase since June 2013, matching economists’ expectations. Excluding the food and energy components, prices were up 0.3%, the biggest gain since July 2012, and higher than the 0.1% advance Wall Street anticipated.

The New York Federal Reserve’s regional manufacturing gauge shot up to 12.51 in January from 2.22 in December, widely beating estimates of 3.75. Readings above 0 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.

Elsewhere in corporate news, Apple (NADSAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook reportedly said iPhone sales in China hit a record high in the tech giant's fiscal first quarter.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 34 cents, or 0.38%, to $92.94 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.49% to $2.61 a gallon. Gold fell $9.80, or 0.8%, to $1,236 a troy ounce.

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