Wall St rises as Citigroup sales beat forecasts

US stocks climbed yesterday, rebounding from last week’s losses after Citigroup’s earnings and retail sales sharply exceeded expectations.

Citigroup shares shot up 5.5 per cent to $36.66 and gave the biggest lift to the S&P 500 after the third-largest US bank reported quarterly adjusted earnings that surged from the year-ago quarter and beat expectations. The growth came as mortgage lending increased and capital markets results rebounded.

Results from Goldman Sachs are expected today. The stock gained 3.6 per cent to $124.50 yesterday, while the S&P financial index rose 1.2 per cent.

Worries about third-quarter US earnings have put a damper on stocks in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 falling 2.2 per cent last week – its worst weekly performance in four months. But the S&P 500 is still up 14.5 per cent for the year.

The three major US stock indexes also drew support from optimism about retail data, which showed September retail sales rose 1.1 per cent – above the 0.8 per cent growth that had been anticipated.

Investors remained cautious about Europe, waiting for signs that Spain was ready to formally request a bailout, which is seen as necessary to deal with its debt crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.38 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 13,424.23. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 11.54 points, or 0.81 per cent, to close at 1,440.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 20.07 points, or 0.66 per cent, to close at 3,064.18.