landsberg bennettStocks finished higher Wednesday. The Dow added 141 points to 24,207 while the S&P 500 climbed 5 points to 2,616. The Nasdaq Composite was up 10 points to 7,034.

The major averages extended gains as strong earnings reports from several large-cap banks boosted investor sentiment. On the data front, a report showed mortgage applications spiked 13.5% in the most recent week as interest rates eased. An additional update showed home builder sentiment rebounded in January after posting losses in the prior two months.  A separate release revealed import prices dipped 1.0% in December, which led to the largest year-over-year decline since 2016 of 0.6%.

Six of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory as Financials paced gains. Shares of Bank of America gained 7.2% to $28.45 after besting profit projections. Goldman Sachs advanced 9.5% to $197.08, its best day in ten-years as the investment bank beat forecasts on the top and bottom line.  In Industrials, United Continental climbed 6.4% to $86.36 after topping revenue projections. However, not all corporate updates were positive as shares of Ford slipped 6.2% to $8.29 after the automaker pre-announced earnings that fell short of analyst expectations. Elsewhere, Nordstrom declined 4.8% to $45.01 after the retailer revealed disappointing holiday sales figures.

Breadth was positive on issues by roughly 3:2 on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.8 billion shares.

Treasuries weakened as the yield of the 10-year note advanced one basis point to 2.72%. In commodities, WTI crude declined 0.2% to $52.02/barrel. COMEX gold gained 0.4% to $1,294.00/ounce.