U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed Thursday, with financials rising for a fifth straight day after some major bank earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 squeezed out gains, with the Dow ending at its highest since July 20, 2015, and the S&P at its highest since Dec. 4. ( Tweet This )
There's "some uncertainty surrounding Sunday's meeting in Doha. You have expiration tomorrow. That's keeping things quiet ahead of the weekend. The trend (in stocks) is unambiguously higher," said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities.
The Nasdaq composite ended less than 2 points lower, weighed by a 20 percent plunge in shares of Seagate Technology.
The financials sector closed up 0.27 percent for its first five-day win streak since July. The sector is up 4.25 percent for the week so far as the top S&P performer, but still the worst year-to-date.
"Really the interesting thing to be taken from the financials so far is the consumer is doing OK and I think that's why the market is doing so well and hanging in there today," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
Bank of America reported an 18 percent slide in quarterly profit as concerns about a global economic slowdown and uncertainty about the pace of U.S. interest rate increases dampened bond and stock trading. However, management noted benefit to the quarter from "good consumer and commercial banking activity." The stock closed up 2.5 percent, still more than 15 percent lower year-to-date.
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Wells Fargo reported a 7 percent fall in quarterly profit as the third-largest U.S. bank by assets set aside more money to cover bad loans, mainly to energy companies. Shares of Wells Fargo closed 0.49 percent lower.
BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, posted a 20 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday amid a dramatic reversal in financial markets. The stock closed up 1.9 percent.
Citigroup is due to report earnings on Friday.