Stocks gain after retail sales, Citi earnings top estimates

U.S. stocks advanced early Friday as Wall Street attempted to shake off this week’s losses. Sentiment was buoyed by better-than-expected retail sales data and a strong earnings report from Citigroup (C).

The S&P 500 surged 1.3% at open, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 500 points, or roughly 1.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1%.

Retail sales rose more than expected in June, pointing to continued strength among U.S. consumers even in the face of decades-high inflation and concerns over an economic slowdown, data from the Commerce Department showed Friday. The broadest measure of retail purchases climbed 1% in June from the prior month, while May’s figure was downwardly revised to show a 0.1% drop in sales — the first decline this year. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected retail sales to rise 0.9% last month.

Elsewhere in economic releases, consumer sentiment rose slightly in July to a reading of 51.1, per the University of Michigan’s latest survey. Estimates called for the figure to come in at 50, according to Bloomberg consensus data. The report’s closely-watched inflation expectations data moderated notably, with long-run inflation expectations falling to 2.8% from 3.1% at the end of June.

Earnings from Citigroup were a bright spot for investors Friday morning. The mega bank reported an 11% jump in second-quarter revenue to $19.64 billion, one day after traders mulled a set of disappointing financials from JPMorgan (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS). Shares of Citi gained nearly 6%.

“In a challenging macro and geopolitical environment, our team delivered solid results and we are in a strong position to weather uncertain times, given our liquidity, credit quality and reserve levels,” Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said in the earnings statement.

Meanwhile on Thursday, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon cautioned in post-earnings remarks that risks to the U.S. economy appear “nearer than they were before” and said “never-before-seen quantitative tightening” is expected to have negative consequences, just one day after another…


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