updated 1/18/2011 7:49:06 AM ET 2011-01-18T12:49:06

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other banks drove stock indexes higher Friday.

JPMorgan rose 1 percent after reporting that its income soared 47 percent in the fourth quarter. The bank set aside less money to cover bad loans and said it expected to get permission from the Federal Reserve to raise its dividend.

Major Market Indices

Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and other large banks also rose on hopes that they too would be able to raise dividends. Banks slashed their dividends during the financial crisis to conserve cash. Investors have been urging banks to raise their dividends now that many of them are making money again.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 55.48 points, or 0.5 percent, to 11,787.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9.48, or 0.7 percent, to 1,293.24. The Nasdaq rose 20.01, or 0.7 percent, to 2,755.30.

Gains were spread across the market. Consumer staples companies were the only one of the 10 company groups that make up the S&P 500 index to fall. Financial companies gained the most, 1.7 percent.

Story: Retail sales rise and inflation remains tame

Bank of America Corp. jumped 3.2 percent to lead the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. Merck & Co Inc. had the largest fall, 1.3 percent.

The Labor Department reported that consumer prices rose 0.5 percent last month, the largest increase since June 2009. However, 80 percent of the increase was due to higher gas prices, meaning that the risk of widespread inflation remains low.

"Prices of oil, corn and wheat are all way up," said Tom di Galoma, head of fixed-income trading at Guggenheim Partners in New York. "But at the end of the day, if the unemployment rate is at 9.4 percent, there's not enough demand to drive inflation higher. People just aren't spending that much."

Quotes delayed 15+ min.

Without food and energy costs, consumer prices increased only 0.1 percent for the second straight month. This "core" inflation rate has gained just 0.8 percent in the past year.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose in December for the sixth month in a row, driven by gains in automobile and furniture sales.

Treasury prices fell slightly. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.33 percent from 3.30 percent late Thursday. The yield is used by lenders to set interest rates on mortgages and other loans.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 3.79%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.99%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.69%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.83%
13.79%
Cash Back Cards 17.80%
17.78%
Rewards Cards 17.18%
17.17%
Source: Bankrate.com