After Market: Retail Sales Report Turns Investors into Buyers

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Some strong economic news was the balm investors needed Monday after last week's selloff. A government report showed retail sales jumped a much stronger-than-expected 1.1 percent in March. Apparently, there was plenty of pent-up demand after the long, hard winter.
young woman,shopping,shopping spree,shopping bags
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The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rallied 146 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 23 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 15 points. Those gains were not strong enough to offset last week's losses, but they did steady what has become a pretty rocky ship.

The big beneficiaries from the retail sales news were credit card companies. MasterCard (MA) jumped 3½ percent, Visa (V) rose nearly 2 percent and American Express (AXP) gained more than 1 percent.

What's interesting though, is that retailers didn't do much at all.

The other big factor lifting the market was a surprise gain in Citigroup's (C) earnings. The stock rallied more than 4 percent, but it's still down 11 percent over the past 3 months.

Monday's rally did not focus on the internet and biotech stocks that have been so volatile in recent weeks. They generally held within a narrow range.

Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Twitter (TWTR) and Netflix (NFLX) all edged slightly higher. Tesla (TSLA) fell 3 percent.

Among the biotechs: Biogen (BIIB) gained 2 percent and Amgen (AMGN) added 1 percent, but Intuitive Surgical (ICPT) fell 3 percent. It's been on a wild ride since announcing news about its new robotic surgical system two weeks ago.

Elsewhere, two stocks that were beat up late Friday rebounded Monday:

General Motors (GM) rose 2 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports its money-losing Opel division in Europe could turn a profit next year.

And Herbalife (HLF) rose 4½ percent. The company says it has no knowledge of FBI or Justice Department investigations.

Finally, Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) surged 30 percent after reporting strong results from recently acquired wells in Louisiana and Mississippi.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • Labor Department releases Consumer Price Index for March, 8:30 a.m.;
  • Treasury releases international money flows data for February, 9 a.m.;
  • National Association of Home Builders releases housing market index for April, 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
  • Coca-Cola (KO)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • CSX Corp. (CSX)
  • Intel (INTC)
  • Yahoo (YHOO)

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SPQR

it was just profit taking ...all we have been seeing is a sesaw with brokers trying to outwit one another to make a fast buck. The governement needs to crack down on them and regulate the pants off. the traders are like vampires sneaking in the night to take blood....in this case during the day. Just go to the stores and they are empty except the grocery . Prices are too high for the crap they are selling. The US has reached its saturation point....consumers are broke

April 14 2014 at 10:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
createidea

Some strong economic news was the balm investors needed.....

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 14 2014 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
elendil3136

The bottom continues to fall out from under Tesla. Last week, sales were reported to be flattening. This should not be surprising. After all, how many can afford a $70,000 car? It occupies a very small niche in the automotive market as a novelty. Nothing more.

April 14 2014 at 6:20 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to elendil3136's comment
SPQR

They are going to the space station.... however, mass transit is the answer

April 14 2014 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TINKDAY

1.1 percent increase in sales is anemic at best , does not even begin to cover the inflation rate.

April 14 2014 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply