Markets Close Higher on Robust Retail Sales, Citigroup Beat

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets were rising Monday after stronger-than-expected results from Citigroup  (C), while retail sales beat expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.91% higher to 16,173.24 while the S&P 500 gained 0.82% to 1,830.61. The Nasdaq added 1.57% to 4,022.69.

  • Citigroup reported net income for the first quarter of $3.9 billion, or $1.23 a share, on revenue of $20.1 billion. Adjusted earnings were $1.30 a share. Analysts were expecting $1.14 a share.
  • U.S. retail sales increased 1.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted $433.9 billion, the Commerce Department said Monday. The gain last month was the largest since September 2012. Sales rose by an upwardly revised 0.7% in February, compared with previous estimate of a 0.3% gain.
  • Edward Life Sciences (EW) added 11% after the company won a court ruling to limit sales of a rival's products. Herbalife (HLF) bounced back 4.4%, recovering from a steep selloff Friday on rumors the company is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice after accusations of illegal sales practices. The company responded saying that it has not received any formal or informal request for information from either agency. Visa (V) gained more than 2% in the Dow after the stock was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" at Robert W. Baird. MasterCard (MA) advanced more than 3.5% after also being raised to "outperform" by Baird analysts. Other stocks set to report this week include Coca-Cola (KO), IBM (IBM) Goldman Sachs (GS), Yahoo! (YHOO) and General Electric (GE).
  • Google (GOOG), also set to report this week, announced it has acquired solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed amount. The company was rumored to have been involved in acquisition talks with Facebook (FB). 
  • Pro-Russian activists have moved further across eastern Ukraine, causing the government to mobilize the military. On Sunday, Russia spoke against the "use of harsh violence against protesters" by Kiev and called a session of the United Nations Security Council, where the U.S. and Russia accused each other of meddling in Ukraine's affairs. The Ukrainian government gave pro-Russian activists a Monday morning deadline -- which has passed -- to disarm or face military action.
  • In international markets, the Hang Seng closed 0.15% higher while the Nikkei shed 0.36%. Germany's DAX rose 0.26% and the U.K. FTSE was 0.34% higher.
  • Lackluster results from JPMorgan (JPM) on Friday and ongoing selling in technology shares contributed to a 1% fall in the S&P 500.


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-- By Andrea Tse and Jane Searle in New York

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