Wall Street closed higher for a third straight session on Thursday following solid economic data and good earnings from Dow members Cisco and Walmart.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 215 points, or 0.84%, to 25,863, the S&P 500 gained 25 points, or 0.89%, to 2,876 and the Nasdaq Composite added 76 points, or 0.97%, to 7,898.
While the escalating US-China tariff war continued to be a concern for market participants, upbeat quarterly results and data pointing to a strong US economy helped ease trade-related jitters.
Walmart gained 1.4% after its first-quarter results beat analyst expectations. Cisco Systems stock saw its biggest percentage jump since February 2016, gaining 6.7% after better-than-expected quarterly results.
Shares of Huawei suppliers Qorvo Inc, Skyworks Solutions Inc, Qualcomm Inc, Xilinx Inc and Micron Technology Inc lost ground after Washington placed the Chinese technology company on a blacklist.
On the economic front, data released by the Commerce Department showed groundbreaking on new US homes increased more than expected in April, as declining interest rates provided support to the struggling housing sector.
In a separate report from the Labour Department, 16,000 fewer Americans applied for unemployment last week, beating economist estimates.
The S&P 1500 Homebuilding index advanced 1.2%, while the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index ended the session down 1.7%.
Electric automaker Tesla Inc dropped 1.6% following safety agency reports that the Autopilot feature was engaged during a fatal crash in Florida in March.
Ride-hailing rivals Uber Technologies and Lyft Inc posted their third straight day of gains.
Nvidia Corp was up over 4% in after-market trading after the Huawei Technologies supplier posted quarterly earnings. Pinterest Inc dropped more than 12% in extended trading after posting results.
In Asia, shares were mostly higher on Friday in morning trade following overnight gains on Wall Street as investors stateside cheered strong earnings and economic data.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan added 1.15% in morning trade, while the Topix index rose 1.1% as most sectors gained. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.28%. Australia’s ASX 200 also added 0.81%.
Mainland Chinese shares, however, were tepid amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington. The Shanghai composite slipped around 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was largely flat.