Traders work on the floor of the NYSE.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher Tuesday as a busy day of earnings got under way and traders digested soft retail sales data.
The Dow added 223 points, 0.7%, aided by a 3% jump for UnitedHealth. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2%, while the S&P 500 added 0.2%. The Dow was headed for a seventh straight day of gains.
Data from the Commerce Department out Tuesday showed advance retail sales ticked up 0.2% month-over-month in June. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecasted a 0.5% increase.
“Americans have gotten relief at the gas pump, but also don’t have an excessive demand for consumer goods,” said David Russel, vice president of market intelligence at TradeStation. “This is modestly positive news for investors worried about the Fed needing to hike after July. Goldilocks marches on.”
The data came as traders pored over the latest round of corporate earnings reports.
Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter, thanks to higher interest rates. The bank stock added 2%. Bank of N.Y. Mellon’s earnings also exceeded expectations, though shares were little changed.
Morgan Stanley beat on both revenue and adjusted earnings per share thanks to record revenue in its wealth management segment. PNC Financial, meanwhile, dropped 1% on the back of mixed second-quarter numbers. J.B. Hunt is slated to report after the bell.
The earnings season is off to a strong start. Of the S&P 500 that have reported, 84% exceeded profit estimates, according to FactSet.
The season comes as recent inflation data boosts the case for a soft-landing scenario among many investors, and stocks continue this year’s rally.