Financials Rally, but the Dow's Winning Streak Comes to End

New York Stock ExchangeA seesaw day ended with a mixed close for the major stock market averages Friday, as a relief rally on the financial regulation reform bill compromise between House and Senate negotiators offset concern over a downward revision to first-quarter gross domestic product.

The most sweeping change to financial regulation since the Great Depression wasn't nearly as onerous as the market had feared and, more important, uncertainty regarding the sector has finally been lifted, says Alan Valdez, director of trading operations at DME Securities. That ignited a rally in financial stocks that more than made up for losses in consumer staples, consumer discretionary, telecom and energy stocks.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) fell 9 points, or 0.1%, to close at 10,144. The broader S&P 500 ($INX) gained 3 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 1,077. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) rose 6 points, or 0.3%, to end at 2,223.

Watch Out for Earnings


Still, the Dow lost more than 300 points on the week, putting an abrupt end to a healthy two-week rally. Oil for August delivery closed up 3.3%, or $2.53, at $79.04 a barrel. Gold for August delivery tacked on 0.7%, or $9.10, to settle at $1,255 an ounce.

Barring any big headlines, the next major catalyst for the markets looks to be second-quarter earnings season, Valdez, says, which doesn't kick off until aluminum giant and Dow component Alcoa (AA) reports July 12. Until then, at the least, this volatile, range-bound market looks here to stay.


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