We said the bulls needed to get off to a good start today and for the most part, they have. The indexes are at their highs as we prepare our update but the bears have also had their fingers in the pie as the market has traded on both sides of the ledger and the afternoon closes have been weak of late.
Economic news came in better-than-expected as Retail Sales rose 1.1% for September. The numbers were also revised to show higher gains in July and August. The forecast was for a pop of 0.9%. This was a good report for the bulls as consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
As far as earnings, Citigroup (C, $36.31, up $1.56) shares are trading higher after the company beat Wall Street’s estimates for the quarter. Citigroup posted a profit of $1.06 a share or revenue of $19.4 billion. The suit-and-ties were looking for $0.96 a share on revs of $18 billion.
We talked about how the Financial stocks needed to show some strength this week and like a rising tide, Citigroup has lifted other boats. Bank of America (BAC, $9.32, up $0.20) is up 2% while JPMorgan Chase (JPM, $42.34, up $0.72) is also getting a pop.
We have a lot to cover today with our current trades so let’s go check the action.