NEW YORK, New York - Demand for bank stocks and higher-than-expected retail sales bolstered Wall Street on Friday.
"The economy continues to heal from the standpoint of bad debt and things like that are a bellwether of economic activity, so the banking system is in great shape and it is a great underpinning to the economy," Josh Wein, portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds told Reuters news agency Friday.
"Christmas is really the test of supply chain. We'll find out how closer to the ground, the consumer, the supply chain, and the labor market are faring," he said.
The Dow Jones index advanced 382.20 points or 1.09 percent to close Friday at 35,294.76.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 73.91 points or 0.50 percent to 14,897.34.
The Standard and Poor's 500 added 33.11 points or 0.75 percent to 4,471.37.
The U.S. dollar remained soft against all but the yen, but was off the day's highs approaching the New York close Friday. The euro traded at 1.1605. The British pound was firm at 1.3748. The Japanese yen was friendless at 114.22. The Swiss franc inched up to 0.9222.
The Canadian dollar was little changed at 1.2377. The Australian dollar retained its strength at 0.7420. The New Zealand dollar was robust at 0.7064.
Overseas equity markets were stronger. The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.37 percent Friday. The German Dax rose 0.81 percent, while in Paris, France the CAC 40 was up 0.63 percent.
On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 517.70 points or 1.81 percent to close at 29,068.63.
The Australian All Ordinaries added 54.00 points or 0.72 percent to 7,674.20.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 368.37 points or 1.48 percent to 25,330.96.
China's Shanghai Composite rose 14.09 points or 0.40 percent to 3,572.37.