Stocks move higher after a rough week

Investors encouraged by retail sales pickup; Citi up


Trader Anthony Carannante, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 11, 2014. Weaker earnings at JPMorgan Chase are dragging bank stocks lower in early trading.Technology and biotech stocks also fell, a day after the worst rout for the Nasdaq composite index since 2011.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)


NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are higher in midday trading after the government reported that retail sales notched their biggest increase since 2012 in March.

Better-than-expected results from Citigroup helped ease worries that corporate earnings would be weak. Citi’s stock rose 4 percent. Citi’s solid quarter was a welcome surprise for investors following an earnings miss last week by JPMorgan Chase.

RELATED ARTICLE: Retail sales up solid 1.1% in March

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 17 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,832 as of noon today. The index lost 2.7 percent last week, its worst week since January.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 127 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,155. The Nasdaq rose 48 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,048.

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. It also revised February’s figure higher.