By Amy Caren Daniel
July 13 (Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 edged back to five-month highs on Friday as gains in industrials and energy companies more than offset a drop in financials after a mixed bag of quarterly reports from three big Wall Street banks.
Industrial stocks, among the worst hit during the trade disputes, gained in the absence of any trade rhetoric overnight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China could reopen trade talks if Beijing was willing to make significant changes.
The industrial sector gained 0.48 percent, with Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M all up around 1 percent.
Oil prices rose by more than 1 percent, boosting the energy sector 0.7 percent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors.
These gains helped the S&P hit 2,804.53 points, its highest since Feb. 2. The index is now about 2.5 percent from its all-time high of 2,872.87, hit on Jan 26.
“Energy is the area of notable strength because of higher oil prices, which makes sense as a lot of energy stocks are very cheap and so they are performing best,” said Patrick Kaser, managing director and portfolio manager at Brandywine Global.
“Clearly trade fears are weighing on the markets overall, but there is nothing particular this morning that’s new in that regard.”
As the trade dispute rumbles on, investors are looking ahead to what is expected to be a strong second-quarter earnings season. But results from three of the biggest Wall Street banks failed to live up to expectations.
Citigroup slid 2.7 percent, the most among financials, after its revenue fell short of estimates due to lower debt underwriting. Wells Fargo fell 1.9 percent