Wall St tracks weekly gains on strong banks earnings, retail sales data



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* Airlines, cruise operators jump on easing U.S. travel curbs

* Retail sales up 0.7% in September despite shortages

* Goldman Sachs rises on strong third-quarter earnings

* Indexes up: Dow 0.79%, S&P 0.53%, Nasdaq 0.28%

By Devik Jain and Federica Urso

Oct 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Friday and the main indexes were set for weekly gains after Goldman Sachs capped a strong earnings season for big banks, while a surprise rise in retail sales raised optimism about economic recovery.

Goldman Sachs GS.N gained 2.7% as a record wave of dealmaking activity drove a surge in the bank's quarterly profit.

Other big lenders, including JPMorgan JPM.N , Morgan Stanley MS.N and Wells Fargo WFC.N , rose between 0.9% and 6.9%. The banking index .SPXBK added 1.6%, tracking a rise in 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR .

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Financials .SPSY and consumer discretionary .SPLCRD added more than 1% to scale new peaks.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index .RUT added 0.7% and was set for its best week since late August.

Strong results from big financial institutions have taken focus away from concerns about U.S. debt default, surging commodity prices and supply chain disruptions, which had fueled market volatility earlier this month.

"The economy continues to heal from the standpoint of bad debt and things like that are a bellwether of economic activity, so the banking system is in great shape and it is a great underpinning to the economy," said Josh Wein, portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds.

A Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose unexpectedly in September, partly due to higher prices, while a preliminary reading for consumer sentiment in October came slightly below expectations.

"Christmas is really the test of supply chain. We'll find out how closer to the ground, the consumer, the supply chain and the labor market are faring," Wein said.

At 11:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 274.81 points, or 0.79%, at 35,187.37.

The S&P 500 .SPX was up 23.64 points, or 0.53%, at 4,461.90, tracking its best week since late July, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 41.43 points, or 0.28%, at 14,864.86, set for its best weekly performance since late August.

Meanwhile, the White House announced it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, at land borders and for air travel.

The S&P 1500 Airlines index .SPCOMAIR jumped 0.9%, while cruise operators Carnival Corp CCL.N , Royal Carribean RCL.N and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings NCLH.N added between 1.1% and 1.5%.

Moderna Inc MRNA.O rose 1.3% after a U.S. FDA panel on Thursday voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people.

Western Digital WDC.O slipped 1.1% as Goldman Sachs downgraded the storage hardware maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy".

Shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms Riot Blockchain RIOT.O , Coinbase Global COIN.O , MicroStrategy Inc MSTR.O and Marathon Digital MARA.O added between 2.5% and 7.2% as bitcoin BTC=BTSP hit $60,000 for the first time since April.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.21-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 51 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 108 new highs and 31 new lows.
Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru and Federica Urso in Gdansk; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur

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