Wall Street was firmly in focus Friday morning. JPMorgan Chase(JPM) reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations, while revenue just barely beat forecasts. Wells Fargo(WFC) reported earnings that beat expectations, while revenue was roughly in line with forecasts.
Multinational technology consulting firm Infosys(INFY) reported results ahead of the open, with decent revenue gains but weak earnings growth year-over-year.
In economic news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released itsmonthly report on the producer price index, showing an increase of 0.8% in June. That's nearly triple the expected increase of 0.3%. The gains were largely driven by a spike in gasoline prices. The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters will release their consumer sentiment survey at 9:55 a.m. ET.
U.S. stocks soared back into record territory Thursday, as investors welcomed comments that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke made on Wednesday. In a speech, Bernanke said monetary policy would remain "highly accommodative" for the foreseeable future.
This comment, implying the central bank would continue its massive program of quantitative easing, helped push the Dow Jones industrial average to a record closing high of 15,460.99. The S&P 500 also closed with a record high -- 1675.03 -- breaking the previous record 1669.16, set on May 22. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq hit its highest level in over a decade.
European markets made some modest progress in midday trading. Germany's DAX was the leading index, rising 1%.
Shares of UK engineering group Invensys(IVNYD) jumped by 15% after the company confirmed it was in takeover talks with France's Schneider Electric. Invensys' board is likely to recommend the cash and shares deal to shareholders.
In China, the Shanghai Composite index and the Hang Seng index both fell back after staging big run-ups earlier in the week. Investors became confused about China's growth projections after the country's finance minister signaled growth could be 7% for the year, below the government's official forecast of 7.5%.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei index closed 0.2% firmer.