Stellar earnings from JP Morgan Chase drove the first rally of the week on Friday as the Dow posted its biggest gain since late June. All three major US indexes erased the week's declines on the day. JP Morgan's per share earnings of $1.21 smashed Wall Street expectations of 70 cents a share in earnings, overshadowing the bank's revelation that the massive trading loss first announced as $2 billion in May turned into $5.8 billion. Another factor in Friday's rally, economists noted, is that China's second-quarter growth rate decelerated sharply, but not as sharply as some had feared.
The Dow Jones industrial average surged 204 points in Friday's session, or 1.62%, to finish off the week at 12,777. JP Morgan Chase's nearly 6 percent gain led the way, followed closely by the Dow's other big bank Bank of America, whose shares gained 4.55 percent. The lone decliner on the blue-chip index was Hewlett-Packard, whose shares slipped 1.9 percent after rival printer maker Lexmark cited a slowdown in printer demand in its most recent guidance. With Friday's jump, the Dow finished the week about five points ahead of where it began.
The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 22 points, or 1.65%, to close at 1,357, erasing the 20 points it had lost between Monday to Thursday. The Nasdaq composite rallied for 42 points, 1.5%, to 2,908.5. Unlike the Dow and S&P, the Nasdaq's Friday surge was not sufficient to overcome the week's freefall, ending with a loss of 18.5 points for the week. A total of 21 Nasdaq companies enjoyed gains in the double digits, led by an 85 percent surge in shares of Opexa Therapeutics Inc.