US STOCKS-S&P hits 5-month high as industrials, energy…

US STOCKS-S&P hits 5-month high as industrials, energy boost; banks weigh

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 13 (Reuters) – The benchmark S&P 500 hit a more than five-month high on Friday as gains in industrials and energy companies offset a drop in financials after a mixed bag of quarterly results from three big Wall Street banks.

The industrial sector gained 0.55 percent, with Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M all up around 1 percent, 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.

Oil prices rose over 1 percent as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, boosting the energy sector 0.89 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.

“There seems to be an increasing awareness that if trade tariffs escalate further that the companies should be able to work around it” said Stephen Lee, founding principal at Logan Capital Management.

“Companies have more of a flexibility now than they have had in the past, and part of that being regulatory and tax changes that happened earlier in the year.”

As the trade row continues, investors are looking ahead to what is expected to be a strong second-quarter earning season, though reports on Friday from three of the biggest U.S. banks failed to enthuse.

Citigroup slid 2.3 percent, the most among financials, after its revenue fell short of estimates due to lower debt underwriting. Wells Fargo fell

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