Blue chips gathered momentum midday Friday, as the fourth-quarter earnings season picked up, IBD’s economic optimism index rose to a 10-month high and Bitcoin found support at its 10-week line.

[ibd-display-video id=3077548 width=50 float=left autostart=true] The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.8%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 0.5% each. Small caps added 0.6%.

Volume in the stock market today rose slightly on both major exchanges compared with the same time Thursday.

The economic optimism index climbed from 51.9 in December to 55.1 in January. The gauge shows Republicans feel better about federal government policies – a 76.0 reading – than at any time since the month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

However, the reading for Democrats feeling better about federal policies is only 25.7. Independents are at 42.5. A reading of 50 is neutral.

Bitcoin Investment Trust ( GBTC ) bounced off its 10-week line with a 10% gain in below-average volume.

A bounce off the 10-week moving average can establish a buy area, but soft trade is a drawback. Bitcoin Investment Trust shows wild action, which also is a negative.

In the 30-component Dow Jones industrial average, eight stocks notched new, 52-week highs.

Those pegging the high in strong volume included Home Depot ( HD ), Caterpillar ( CAT ), Boeing ( BA ) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ).

JPMorgan reported results for 2017. Earnings increased 10% from $6.19 a share in 2016 to $6.84 a share in 2018, according to data from William O’Neil + Co., a sister company of IBD. JPMorgan said it earned $1.76 a share after adjusting for changes related to the tax cut legislation.

The bank stock popped 1.1% in heavy volume.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in a news release the tax cuts are “a significant positive outcome for the country.”

Wells Fargo (WFC) also reported. Earnings rose 21% from $3.99 a share in 2016 to $4.85 a share in 2017. Adjusted EPS were $1.16. The stock slipped 0.8% in fast trade.

PNC Financial (PNC) wrapped up the 2017 numbers with a 17% increase from $7.30 a share in 2016 to $8.57 in 2017. It earned $2.29 a share, excluding the impact of tax legislation and other items. The stock advanced 1.3% and then reversed to flat for the day. Volume was heavy.

Meanwhile, the exchange-traded fund Innovator IBD 50 Fund (FFTY) added 0.16 to 35.29, clearing a 35.24 buy point in a cup base.

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, retail stocks led the winners in midday action. Solar, insurance and dairy were the worst groups.


JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial Beat; Wells Fargo Mixed

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