Wall Street stocks close higher
Financial stocks lifted Wall Street on Thursday, as investors awaited quarterly results from several big banks.
The Dow Jones index rose 20.95 points, or 0.1%, to 21,553.09 - a fresh closing high - while the S&P 500 gained 4.61 points, or 0.19%, to 2,447.86.
The tech-focused Nasdaq rose 13.27 points, or 0.21%, to 6,274.44.
JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all issue earnings reports on Friday.
With investors predicting strong performances, the S&P500's financial index gained 0.6% on Thursday and was the best performer among the 11 major S&P sectors.
Wells Fargo climbed 0.8%, Goldman Sachs was up 1.3% and Morgan Stanley rose 1.3%.
"People are a trying to buy in ahead of tomorrow," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Massachusetts.
Elsewhere, shares in retailer Target rose 4.8% after a positive second-quarter earnings forecast.
The news boosted other retailers, with Wal-Mart up 1.5% and Costco gaining 1.2%.
Shares in Delta Air Lines slipped 1.8% after it reported a 21% drop in second-quarter profit.
The airline blamed sharply higher operating costs, even though its revenue per passenger climbed.