US markets ended the session in green on Friday, as traders remained optimistic about corporate tax reform under President Donald Trump. At a meeting with airline executives on Thursday, Trump pledged to unveil a tax plan that includes a ‘big league’ reduction in the tax burden on American business in the next few weeks. Trump has previously proposed reducing the corporate income tax rate to 15 or 20 percent from the current rate of 35 percent. Some support also came on reports that Trump spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to honor the ‘one China’ policy also eased concerns about tensions between the two economic superpowers.
On the U.S. economic front, Labor Department released a report showing import prices rose by more than expected in January amid another jump in fuel prices. The import prices increased 0.4 percent in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.5 percent in December. Though, the street had expected import prices to rise by 0.2 percent. The report also said export prices inched up by 0.1 percent in January after rising by 0.4 percent in December. The uptick in export prices matched street expectations.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the University of Michigan showed a bigger than expected pullback in consumer sentiment in February. The preliminary report showed that the consumer sentiment index dropped to 95.7 in February from the final January reading of 98.5. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 97.9. The bigger than expected decrease by the index came after it reached its highest level since January of 2004 in the previous month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 96.97 points or 0.48 percent to 20,269.37, the Nasdaq rose 18.95 points or 0.33 percent to 5,734.13 and S&P 500 gained 8.23 points or 0.36 percent to 2,316.10.
The Indian ADRs closed mostly in red; Dr. Reddy's Lab declined 0.40%, ICICI Bank dipped 0.07%, Infosys Technologies slipped 0.07% and Wipro was down by 0.01%. On the flip side, HDFC Bank gained 0.21% and Tata Motors was up by 0.05%.