S&P, Dow open higher as bank shares rise

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Shares of JP Morgan rose 1.1 percent, helping lift the S&P financial index up 0.6 percent, after its fourth-quarter profit beat estimates.

The Russell 2000 is up 56.46 points, or 3.7 percent. In fact, the roughly 4.3% rise for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and more than 4% rise for the S&P 500 index so far in 2018, represent the best start to a year since 2003, according to WSJ Market Data Group.

Earnings from big banks were mixed, with JPMorgan Chase rising 1.7 percent after beating expectations, even as profits were hit by one-time effects of the tax law changes. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.13 points, or 0.08 percent, to 7,205.65.

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Another data showed USA consumer prices recorded their biggest rise in 11 months in December on gains in the cost of rental accommodations and healthcare, bolstering expectations that inflation will accelerate this year.

The S&P 500 is up 43.09 points, or 1.6 percent.

Sales at online retailers soared 1.2 percent in December.

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Amazon rose 1.89 percent to breach $1,300 for the first time, while Home Depot rose 1 percent and Walmart 0.6 percent.

But Facebook sank 4.5 percent after announcing a plan to update its newsfeed to emphasize posts from friends and family over other content.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,474 to 1,376.

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