NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished on a mixed note Monday with robust retail sales data driving a rebound in blue-chip stocks, while heavy selling in the tech sector dragged down the other major indices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72 points, or 0.6% to finish at 12,921, down more than 60 points from the day's high of 12,986. The S&P 500 closed on a flat note at 1369, after flitting between the positive and negative territory during the trading session.

Thanks in large part to weakness in Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG) though, the Nasdaq tumbled 23 points, or 0.7%, to 2988.

Apple saw its shares drop 4.1% to $580.13 on much heavier than normal volume. The stock sank below $600 for the first time in April, has fallen for five straight sessions, and is now 10% below the April 10 all-time high of $644. The Wall Street Journal said there's some chatter in the market Monday that Apple may roll out an iPad Mini at $200 later this year.

Google, meanwhile, dropped 3% to $606.07, extending Friday's decline after its earnings report, which showed continued price weakness in the company's average cost-per-click metric. On Monday, the company was fined $25,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for hampering the investigation of its data collection practices.

The Nasdaq has outperformed both the Dow and S&P 500 by a wide margin in 2012, rising nearly 15% vs. gains of 5.2% for the Dow and 8.9% for the S&P 500 through Monday's close. U.S. stocks are coming off their worst week of the year with an underwhelming report on economic growth in China and the return of eurozone worries driving deep selling on Friday.

Breadth within the Dow was positive with 24 of the index's 30 components on the rise. The strongest percentage gainers among the blue chips were Travelers ( TRV), Procter & Gamble ( PG), Wal-Mart ( WMT), DuPont ( DD), Bank of America ( BAC), Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Intel ( INTC), and Home Depot ( HD), all rising more than 1%.

Hewlett Packard ( HPQ) and Cisco ( CSCO) were among the Dow's few decliners.

Early Monday, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased a better-than-expected 0.8% in March, compared with a rise of 1% in February. Taking out auto purchases, sales also rose 0.8%, topping estimates, compared with an increase of 0.9% in February. Sales grew 0.7%, excluding both autos and gas.

The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April was a major disappointment before the bell with a reading of 6.56 compared with 20.21 in March.

Also, the National Association of Home Builders provided a reading on the April housing market index that dropped three points to 25, its first decline in seven months, as buyer interest has not yet translated into expected sales activity amid tight credit conditions, competition from foreclosures and appraisal issues. 50 is the line between positive and negative for this index.

The Commerce Department's business inventories data for February matched expectations, increasing 0.6%, compared with an upwardly-revised 0.8% in January.

London's FTSE rose 0.3% and Germany's DAX settled up 0.6% even as the Spanish 10-year government bond yield was pushed to concerning levels, earlier spiking above 6% for the first time this year.

Borrowing costs soared in Europe's fourth largest economy on deep concerns about the health of its banking sector and economy despite the implementation of severe austerity measures and the European Central Bank's recent cash injection to the continent's financial system. The costs of insuring Spain's debt meanwhile jumped as well, reaching a record 511.5 basis points as the ECB came under pressure to lend a helping hand to Spain and continue its bond-purchasing program.

"The concerns about Spain are going to continue to weigh down on the markets until some credible sign of solution is found," says Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist for RidgeWorth Investments. "What the markets I think are hoping is there's greater backstop to Spain, which maybe we'll get at the end of the week."

"The big key here in my mind, with Spain's unemployment over 20%, is going to be growth catalysts," he continued. "The European Union will step up with more pro-growth strategies. We may have seen the limits of austerity at this point and it's time to focus on growth."

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei Average had finished down 1.7% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index had closed down 0.4%.

May oil futures rose 10 cents to settle at $102.93 a barrel, while June gold futures shed $10.5 to settle at $1,649.70 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 3/32, diluting the yield to 1.977%, while the U.S. dollar index fell 0.4% to 79.53.


In corporate news, Citigroup ( C) was a bright spot, rising nearly 1.8% to $34 after the bank reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of $1.11 a share, topping the average analyst estimate for a profit of $1 a share. Revenue, however, came in at $19.4 billion, coming in shy of Wall Street's consensus view of $19.8 billion.

Shares of Mattel ( MAT) were weak after the company said its first-quarter net income declined 53% from year-ago levels.

The toy company posted a profit of $7.8 million, or 2 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $16.6 million, or 5 cents. Adjusted earnings in the latest quarter were 6 cents a share. Revenue fell 3% to $928.4 million.

Analysts expected Mattel to post quarterly earnings of 7 cents a share on revenue of $990.9 million. The stock plunged 9% to close at $31.01.

Edelman Financial Group ( EF) was a big winner on Monday after the Houston-based wealth management firm agreed to be acquired by Lee Equity Partners for $8.85 a share, a premium of more than 40% to Friday's closing price at $6.18. The stock closed at $8.74.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.