Stocks start Monday strong on higher retail sales

Diane Alter – AHN News Reporter

New York, NY, United States (AHN) – Dow stocks stocks staged a rally Monday morning boosted by strong retail sales data.

Shorty after 10 a.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 64 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was off 2 points and the NASDAQ was lower by 29 points

U.S. stocks were buoyed following a report from the Commerce Department that revealed retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March, better than the 0.3 percent that analysts had been expecting, and climbing from a revised 1 percent in February.

The number shows that consumers are still spending, despite the steady and upward rise in the price of gasoline.

Also giving investors something to cheer about was Citigroup’s earning of $ 1.11 per share, beating expectations of $ 1 per share. Banks are off to a solid start, following JP Morgan Chase’s and Wells Fargo’s reported earnings on Friday that also topped estimates.

Reporting this week are Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Investors this week will also be closely watching Tuesday’s Spanish 10-yield bond auction.

U.S. markets are hoping to make up some lost ground coming off the worst week of the year. Last week, the Dow lost 1.6 percent, the S&P 500 gave back 2 percent and the NASDAQ dropped 2.3 percent.

In world markets, Asia ended lower and European stocks were higher in midday trading.

In currencies and commodities, the dollar gained against the euro and the British pound, but fell versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for May delivery rose 11 cents to $ 102.94 a barrel. Gold futures for April delivery lost $ 11.20 to $ 1,647.90 a troy ounce

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