(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended in green following a jump in monthly retail sales and stronger-than-forecast earnings from Citigroup.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.81 percent to end at 1,440.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.72 percent to finish at 13,424.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.66 percent to close at 3,064.18.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported retail sales and core retail sales rose 1.1 percent for September. Core retail sales topped economists expectations of a 0.6 percent rise. Core retail sales measures the change in the total value of sales at the retail level in the U.S., excluding automobiles.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to drop for a third straight month. The New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing index improved to minus 6.2 from minus 10.4 in September, while economists expected a reading of minus 4.5.
Earnings are likely to be in the spotlight this week with Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Coca-Cola, (KO) Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and General Electric (GE) due to announce their quarterly results.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: C, CLWR, ABT, LLY, TXN, HAS, AMED, CNX, AEGR
In corporate news, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) jumped 5.50 percent after reporting better-than-estimated earnings for the third quarter. The bank posted third-quarter EPS of $1.06 and revenue of $19.4 billion, excluding the impact of negative credit valuation adjustment (CVA)/ debt valuation adjustment (DVA) and a loss related to the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB) joint venture.
Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR) surged 15.95 percent after Japan telecoms company SoftBank agreed to acquire a 70 percent stake Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S), which owns 48 percent the wireless network operator.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) gained 4.00 after the company said its experimental hepatitis C drug regimen cured 99 percent of hard-to treat hepatitis C patients.
Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) rose 4.12 percent after the drug giant reported positive results from a late-stage study of its metastatic gastric cancer treatment.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) added 3.45 percent. Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist reported that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is in advanced discussions to acquire the mobile chip business of Texas Instruments for its Kindle tablets.
Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) retreated 3.94 percent. Goldman Sachs downgraded rating on the the stock to "sell".
Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ:AMED) dropped 9.38 percent after the health-care company said it expects a new agreement with health insurer Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) to generate half the revenue of an earlier agreement.
CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX) shed 2.22 percent after the producer of coal and natural gas, forecast a loss for the third quarter, citing a combination of marketing and operational issues. CFO William Lyons said the company's planned and unplanned mine idlings took their toll on third quarter earnings.
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(NASDAQ:AEGR) advanced 9.40 percent after the Food and Drug Administration posted a favorable review of the company's experimental cholesterol drug lomitapide.
European markets ended higher amid optimism that Spain would soon seek a bailout, with Germany's DAX up 0.40 percent to close at 7,261.25. France's CAC40 added 0.92 percent to finish at 3,420.28. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.21 percent to end at 5,805.61.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index slid 0.30 percent to end at 2,098.70. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.51 percent to finish at 8.577.93. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.06 percent to close at 21,148.25. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,713.55, up 0.21 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures declined 0.23 percent to $91.65 per barrel, and natural gas futures dropped 3.43 percent to $3.487 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures shed 1.19 percent to $1,738.8 per ounce and silver futures retreated 2.66 percent to $32.775 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.03 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2955. The British pound dipped 0.02 percent against the greenback to 1.6070, while the dollar added 0.32 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.6800.