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Will financial breakout continue?

Data measuring the mood of consumers and Citigroup's earnings are two reports traders will be watching Friday.

The winning streak in financial stocks continued for a fifth day Thursday, with BlackRock and Bank of America shares rising after earnings announcements. Wells Fargo was lower after its report. Bank of America profits fell nearly 20 percent but it reported improvement in consumer and commercial banking activity. The S&P financial sector is up more than 4 percent for the week so far. The S&P 500 closed just slightly higher Thursday, up less than a point at 2,082.

Consumer sentiment is reported at 10 a.m. EDT, and it will be the first look at the data for April. March retail sales this week disappointed and showed a consumer less willing to spend than expected. Sentiment is projected to rise slightly to 92 from 91.

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"I think people are going to turn to the economics here. We all know we're going to get a weak first-quarter GDP. That's well baked in. There's been just enough data weakening of late that people are starting to get concerned about it," said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. Economists are forecasting a very sluggish first quarter, with growth of less than 1 percent.

Other economic reports expected Friday include the April Empire State Survey at 8:30 a.m. EDT, an important first look at activity in the second quarter. Industrial production and capacity utilization for March are released at 9:15 a.m. There is also a release from the Treasury on TIC data or international capital flows at 4 p.m.

Citigroup reports earnings ahead of the bell, as does Charles Schwab and Regions Financial.

Also important will be trading in BATs Global Markets, the exchange operator. BATs priced its long-awaited IPO Thursday night at $19, the high end of the range, and its first day of trading Friday will be of interest since it is the first significant IPO in four months.

China is scheduled to release GDP data for the first quarter on Friday morning. Wells Fargo global research analyst Peter Donisanu expected the growth pace will slow below 2015's 6.8 percent pace.

According to Paulsen, the data around the globe seem to be picking up, but investors are worried that U.S. growth may be slowing as the rest of the world perks up. "I think the most impressive thing is the industrial commodities prices have gone up so much. That to me tells you something about the economy. That's what I think is coming up. You're going to hear more investors talking about better reports out the euro zone, better reports out of China," he said.

Paulsen said he's become more optimistic on stocks lately. The sell-off in January finally dented sentiment enough. "I think we're going to new highs, upwards of 2,200 (on the S&P 500). We may correct again before the year's over, but I think we're going to head higher first," he said. "I think it's the ending of the deflation story. ... Earnings are bad but they'll turn out better than feared."

Traders will also be watching for headlines from the G-20 finance ministers in Washington on Friday. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks at 12:50 p.m. EDT on economic conditions and monetary policy.