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Published: Monday, 10/18/2010

Stocks climb after Citigroup tops forecasts

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — An upbeat start to a busy week of earnings pushed stocks higher Monday.

Citigroup Inc.'s better-than-expected results drove financial stocks higher, putting an end to a recent slide in bank shares. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45 points in morning trading.

Citigroup said it was helped by fewer customers failing to repay loans during the third quarter, another sign that the worst losses from loan defaults could be in the past. The better results from Citi lifted shares of other banks, which had swooned last week as fallout spread from accusations that banks had improperly processed large amounts of foreclosures. Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. both rose about 2 percent.

The market is likely to turn its focus to corporate earnings throughout the week as dozens of large companies release results. Broad economic reports have been the main factor driving stock trading in recent months.

Halliburton Co.'s profit rose, but its revenue fell short of expectations, sending its shares lower. The oil services company has been hampered by a ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. IBM Corp. and Apple Inc. release results after the market closes.

IBM's earnings report will be studied for clues about whether companies are spending more to upgrade technology and computers. Signs that companies are ramping up technology spending would be a good indication that they expect business to pick up.

Meanwhile results from Apple will be seen as an indicator of how much appetite consumers have for new gadgets. The iPod and iPad have been popular this year even as shoppers cut back spending elsewhere.

The Dow rose 45.30, or 0.4 percent, to 11,108.08 in morning trading.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.23, or 0.3 percent, to 1,179.42, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.01, or 0.2 percent, to 2,473.78.

Citigroup rose 13 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $4.08. Wells Fargo rose 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $24.10. JPMorgan rose 73 cents, or 2 percent, to $37.88.

Halliburton shares fell $1.44, or 4 percent, to $34.38.

IBM rose $1.31 to $142.37. Apple shares rose $2.43 to $317.17. Apple shares surged above the $300 level for the first time last week.

Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 2.53 percent from 2.57 percent late Friday. Its yield is often used as a benchmark to set interest rates on mortgages and other loans.



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