- Citigroup beats estimates, leads banks higher
- Retail sales rise 1.1 per cent, ahead of forecasts
- Tech, internet stocks recover
Dow Jones: 0.91%
S&P 500: 0.84%
Stronger-than-expected earnings from Citigroup and upbeat retail sales lifted US stocks on Monday, as sentiment recovered after a heavy sell-off last week.
Wall Street indices managed to close with decent gains by the end of trade, depute a slight sell-off in late afternoon.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.9% higher, the S&P 500
rose 0.8%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.6%, bouncing off its worst close since February.
Global equity markets sunk sharply last week as investors dumped so-called 'momentum' stocks which had performed well over recent months. The Nasdaq in particular suffered heavy losses, falling 3.1% on the week as high-growth tech and internet companies bore the brunt of the selling pressure.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co also dampened sentiment on Friday after the largest bank in the States disappointed analysts with its quarterly results.
However, "Citigroup's earnings release was in stark contrast to that of JPMorgan", according to Chief Market Strategist Brenda Kelly from IG, and "investors scrambled to buy in".
Also helping stocks on Monday were retail sales which climbed 1.1% to $433.9bn in March following a 0.7% increase a month earlier. Analysts had expected a 0.9% gain.
Analysts at Capital Economics said that the pick-up in growth was "partly due to households making up for lost time after the unusually bad weather kept them away from the malls in previous months".
"Nonetheless, it means that real consumption growth in the first quarter could be a little stronger than the 2% we have been expecting," they said.
On a downbeat note, tensions in Ukraine escalated as pro-Russian radicals ignored a deadline to lay down their arms or face military action. People in eastern Ukraine were reportedly anxiously waiting to see if President Alexándr Turchínov follows through on his threat to use forces to remove the pro-Russian groups.
Citigroup beats forecasts
rose strongly after the bank reported 1% growth in adjusted earnings per share to $1.30 for the first quarter, beating the $1.29 expected by analysts. Revenues edged 1% lower to $20.1bn.
"Despite a quarter that was difficult for our company, we delivered strong results. Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we grew both loans and deposits while holding the line on our expenses," said Chief Executive Michael Corbat.
Sector peers Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo all finished with gains, while JPMorgan Chase extended losses after disappointing analysts on Friday. Bank of America releases its results on Wednesday, while Goldman reports on Thursday.
Tech giants Yahoo!, Google and Facebook were performing well, recovering after recent weakness.
Lexion Pharmaceuticals surged after reporting positive results from a type-1 diabetes drug.