The Dow gained 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 15,484. The S&P added 2.3, or 0.1 percent, and ended at 1,682. The Nasdaq was up 7.4, or 0.2 percent, to 3,607.
Economic news was mixed. Second-quarter growth in China came in at an annual rate of 7.5 percent, the lowest level since 1991, and down from the previous quarter's 7.7 percent. But that was still better than the fears of some analysts concerned about tightening monetary policy and disappointing data in the world's second largest economy.
June retail sales came in lower than anticipated, rising just 0.4 percent from May; a gain of 0.8 had been expected. Consumers bought more automobiles, furniture and clothes, but reduced purchases of many other goods, and sales of building materials fell. The Commerce Department's report was considered more evidence of a slowing economy, leading some analysts to lower their forecasts for second-quarter GDP and raising yet again the question of whether the Federal Reserve would be right to start tapering its bond-buying stimulus program later this year. On the brighter side, the pace of growth in New York state's manufacturing sector was 9.46 in July, the fastest in five month.
Bolstering investor sentiment was Citigroup (C), which posted a profit of $1.25 per share, beating analyst expectations of $1.17. Citi's stock rose $1.00, or nearly 2 percent, to close at $51.81. Banks are seen as likely to be the best performers in a largely disappointing quarter for earnings. Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC), and Morgan Stanley (MS) will also report this week.
Other stocks in the news:
- Boeing (BA) bounced back from a big loss last Friday. The 787 Dreamliner's battery was ruled out as the source of an airplane fire at London's Heathrow airport. Overheating batteries caused the fleet to be grounded for more than three months earlier this year; a transmitter is being eyed as the likely cause of the latest trouble. Shares of Boeing rose $3.79, or 3.7 percent, to $105.66.
- Leap Wireless soared $8.97, or 112 percent, to $16.95 after the carrier agreed to be acquired by AT&T (T) for $1.19 billion, or $15 a share. The deal was announced late Friday. AT&T fell 26 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $35.55.
What to watch Tuesday
- Before the bell, earnings are expected from Coca-Cola (KO), Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
- CSX (CSX) and Yahoo (YHOO) report after market close. Earnings are also due from Charles Schwab (SCHW).
- The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, is out at 8:30 AM ET.
- The Federal Reserve will release both Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization at 9:15 AM ET, giving a look at the health of the country's manufacturing sector.