Updated from 1:43 p.m. EDT

Just a Few Gainers

( At 4:55 p.m. EDT)

Citigroup ( C) got it done. The bank's shares rose 5.5% Tuesday to end at $4.01, its first close above $4 since late January.

You know I can't stop you if you want to talk about a short squeeze, as our friends at The Wall Street Journal did. I'm not even saying you wouldn't have a point. I'm simply noting that the stock was up again. Going back to March 13, when it finished at $1.78, it's gained more than 100%. Since last Wednesday, it's advanced 49%.

If you saw value there, for whatever reason, and bought it you've done pretty well. The other side, not so much. These new shares may very well change the equation. For now though, it is what it is.

On the whole, however, it was another setback for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The index lost 137.63 points, or 1.7%, to 7920.18, as 26 of its components retreated. No reversal this time.

Aside from Citi, only three stocks climbed -- General Motors ( GM), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) and Intel ( INTC).

Following the close, Intel said its first-quarter profit fell, though it did exceed estimates. If the company's right, PC sales bottomed in the quarter. For the second quarter, the chipmaker didn't offer much guidance, outside of saying it's planning for revenue to be basically flat with the first quarter's $7.1 billion. Shares were down 3.7% to $15.42 in the late session after closing at $16.01. If that weakness carries over it will be a drag on the Dow Wednesday.

As for the day's decliners, financials had the most pronounced pullbacks. American Express ( AXP) fell 9.9% to $18.43, while both Bank of America ( BAC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) surrendered more than 8%.

So it wasn't the best day. Wasn't the worst, either. Until tomorrow, then. And don't read anything into that. I'm simply signing off.

Going the Wrong Way

( At 1:35 p.m. EDT)

The situation is worsening a bit for the Dow in the afternoon. With about two and a half hours left in the session, the index was down 128 points, or 1.6%, at 7930.

So what if we're up about 1,500 points since that March low? Wasn't the ascent better than the opposite? This downturn thing, even if it's moderate, just makes people nervous. Again, though, let's not rush to judgment. It's what happens when the clock's winding down that matters.

Only three of the industrials were showing gains. Citigroup ( C) was the best on a percentage basis and the most heavily traded of the 30 Dow stocks, gaining 8.2% to $4.11. General Motors ( GM) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) were the other two names in the green.

The steepest decliners were two of Citi's fellow financial components, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and American Express ( AXP), each off about 5.8%. Bank of America ( BAC), which at one point hit $11.58, dropped back to $10.54, a loss of 4.4% on the day.

We've still got a way to go before this one's in the books. And Intel ( INTC) coming up after the close.

Citi Needs Help Here

( At 10:35 a.m. EDT)

We've got a lot to digest this morning, and the Dow was posting an early loss. I'll check back in around 3:30 p.m. to see how things shake out.

Of course, that's more of the fun-having, the kidding around. I know. The market is very serious. Not fun. Many exciting and crucial things have already happened, and more no doubt will take place between now and this afternoon that will require our undivided attention and close inspection. Preferably minute by minute.

Naturally, I don't want to be accused of being derelict, so I'll go ahead and try to get into what's influencing the market. And in case you're wondering, the industrials were recently down 49 points at 8008 -- a palindrome number, just for the record. It had been more than 100 points earlier.

After Goldman's ( GS) big numbers following the prior close, I admit I was hopeful. Let us rejoice, I thought. Be more like Ben Bernanke. Didn't help much it turns out.

What's the problem? Retail sales were weak, and that's getting a good part of the blame. I understand all about being disappointed, but I'm not sure a decline should have been really surprising.

The financials on the Dow were mixed. Citigroup ( C) was the big winner of the group, up 14.7% to $4.36. The last time Citi closed above $4 was Jan. 28.

Bank of America ( BAC) was gaining 2.5% at $11.29, overcoming this report about a regulatory review of the Merrill Lynch bonuses. General Electric ( GE), let's call it a bank, was higher by 2.2% at $12.40.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), however, was down 3.4% at $32.56, and American Express ( AXP) was off 2.1% at $20.03 following a Stifel downgrade.

After its quarterly results, Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) was adding 2.2%, while Intel ( INTC) was tacking on 1.4% ahead of its own numbers.

Chevron ( CVX) and Exxon Mobil ( XOM), meanwhile, were down a little more than 1% each after getting hit with downgrades from Oppenheimer.

Just don't forget that many hours are left in the day, and much can change between now and the close.

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