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.
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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.