Dow, S&P 500 break 5-day losing streak as banks rally

STORY: Wall Street bounced back on Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending five-day losing streaks, as investors’ hopes were boosted by upbeat earnings and encouraging economic data.

The Dow jumped more than 2%, the S&P rose nearly 2% and the Nasdaq finished up more than one and three quarters of a percent.

Economic data released on Friday surprised to the upside, with stronger-than-expected retail sales for June.

But Greg Swenson, founding partner at Brigg Macadam, said he was “not impressed” with that report.

“I wouldn’t get too excited about this rally. I think it’s temporary. I would sell into it. You know, the number that is allegedly driving the rally today was retail sales, up 1%. You know, but inflation was, you know, on Wednesday, CPI (Consumer Price Index) was up 1.1% month over month. So, it doesn’t really suggest a robust consumer. Yes, they’re keeping up with inflation, but they’re just buying the same products at higher prices. So, I don’t think it was as much belief that there’s some good economic news. It was very average economic news, or neutral at best. I just think it’s a bit of a short covering and a relief rally.”

Shares of Citigroup soared more than 13%, after posting quarterly profit that beat expectations, bucking the trend among big bank earnings reports.

Wells Fargo said its quarterly profit was nearly cut in half due to increased loan loss provisions, but shares still rose more than 6%.

Unitedhealth Group ended the session more than 5% higher after the healthcare company raised its annual profit forecast for the second straight quarter.

And shares of Pinterest jumped more than 16% after The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Elliott Management accumulated a stake of more than 9% in the company.