A government report showing March retail sales notched their biggest increase in 18 months helped give U.S. stocks a lift Monday. Better-than-expected results from Citigroup helped ease worries that first-quarter corporate earnings would be weak.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,832 at 11:07 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 123 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,150. The Nasdaq added 48 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,047.
The S&P 500 dropped 2.7 percent last week, its worst weekly showing since January. The Nasdaq composite notched its third consecutive weekly decline.
CITI: Citigroup reported a 2.5 percent increase in first-quarter profit. Both income and revenue beat Wall Street's expectations. The lender got a boost from improving results in its Citi Holdings unit, which is selling off assets such as mortgages that soured in the financial crisis. Citi's shares surged $1.91, or 4.2 percent, to $47.58.
SALES UP: Retail sales rose 1.1 percent in March, the best showing since September 2012, the Commerce Department reported. The government also revised February's figure to a 0.7 percent gain, more than double its previous estimate. Sales dropped in January and December.
"Retail sales was a really big number and very impressive," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management. "It bodes well for the market."
SECTOR WATCH: All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index rose, led by energy and technology.
HEART STOPPER: Medical device maker Edwards Lifesciences rose the most of any stock in the S&P 500 index. A federal judge on Friday reaffirmed an earlier ruling that Medtronic's CoreValve system infringes on Edwards' patent for a replacement heart valve. Edwards soared $9.80, or 13.5 percent, to $83.79. Medtronic fell $1.29, or 2 percent, to $57.90.
STOCK SPOTLIGHT: Among the biggest risers in morning trading were F5 Networks, up $5.65, or 5.5 percent, to $108.60, and Allegheny Technologies, which added $1.63, or 4.2 percent, to $40.75. Decliners included Intuitive Surgical, which shed $5.63, or 1.3 percent, to $434. Gap slipped 57 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $37.83.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 2.65 percent from 2.63 percent late Friday. The price of crude oil rose 10 cents to $103.83 a barrel. Gold rose $10.90 to $1,329.90 an ounce.