Stocks Push Higher as Banks Bounce Back

Stocks looked to extend their winning streak for a fourth straight session Friday, rebounding off a weak open as banks advanced. The market is on track for what could be its best week in over a year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose after rallying 1.2 percent in the prior session following better-than-expected jobless claims data and some strong sales results from major retailers.

In today's economic news, wholesale inventories rose 0.5 percentin May, as expected.

Banks rebounded after being the biggest decliners at the start, with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs up more than 1 percent.

Johnson & Johnson was the biggest drag on the Dow after the company recalled more Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs due to a musty, moldy order.

Google shares rose after the company said that China has renewed its license to operate a Web site in the country, ending a long standoff between the two.

Alcoa kicks off earnings season next week, reporting on Monday. Its shares rose ahead of the report.

Among other companies reporting next week are Intel , Google , Bank of America , Citigroupand General Electric .

Next week's earnings reports are expected to offer some insight on whether or not the economy is headed for a double dip.

"This isn't a double-dip, it's just a soft spot. We get one in every recovery," said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston. "We think the top line is going to definitely move forward and probably be at a post-recession post-crisis high and we're going to be moving in a very positive direction."

BP shares slipped as the Obama administration was preparing to unveil a revised moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal court refused a request by the Obama administration to keep the prior ban in place while it decides the case.

On the M&A front, Airgas raised its bid for Air Products to $63.50 a share from its original offer of $60.

Reuters reported that Disney finalized a deal to sell its Miramax unit to construction magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital for between $600 million and $700 million in cash.

And BC Partners and Silver Lake Partners are buying health care company MultiPlan from Carlyle Group in a $3.1 billion private equity deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Property and casualty insurance company Ace looks to have been picked to replace biotech Millipore in the S&P 500. Millipore is being acquired by Germany's Merck.

On the retail front, Jefferies lowered its outlook for Best Buy , cutting the company to "hold" from "buy" on concerns over "continued softness" in electronic sales.

Meanwhile, UBS raised its rating on Costco to "buy" from "neutral," saying the stock's low price makes for an attractive entry point, particularly as sales at the wholesale chain remain attractive.

In Europe, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said budget cuts by EU countries will not lead the euro zone back into recession. The euro is holding near two-month highs amid Trichet's comments and the prospect of bank stress test results later this month.

On Tap for Next Week:

MONDAY: Fed's Lacker speaks; Earnings from Alcoa, Chevron (interim)
TUESDAY: Small business optimism report; International trade; Treasury budget; Earnings from Intel, Yum
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps; Government report on retail sales; import/export prices; business inventories; Fed minutes
THURSDAY: PPI; Empire State survey; weekly jobless claims; industrial production; Philly Fed survey; Yellen nomination hearing; Fed's Lacker speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan, Novartis & Google
FRIDAY: CPI; consumer sentiment; Earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup, GE and Gannett