Jul 14, 12:19 PM EDT

Stocks move higher in midday trading; Citi climbs


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Stocks move higher in midday trading; Citi climbs

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Stocks were holding on to gains in midday trading Monday after sliding sharply last week. Citigroup's latest quarterly financial results helped add to expectations of a strong corporate earnings season.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,978 as of 12:04 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 131 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,075. The Nasdaq composite added 30 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,445.

REGAINING CONFIDENCE: Last week the S&P 500 lost 0.9 percent, its worst showing since April. Concern about the soundness of Portugal's Espirito Santo International, which reportedly missed a debt payment last week, harked back to issues that spawned Europe's debt crisis. But investors appeared to be reassured any problems would be contained.

EYES ON EARNINGS: With the market trading near all-time highs, investors will be focused this week on a slew of corporate earnings, including quarterly reports from General Electric, Google, Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson.

"The earnings numbers are expected to be pretty good," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investments. "We got started off with a very good report out of Citibank this morning. And economic news this week - retail sales, capacity utilization, housing data, confidence data - is all supposed to be pretty good."

CITI: Citigroup's adjusted earnings and revenue came in better than analysts had estimated. The bank also agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into the mortgage bonds it sold ahead of the financial crisis in 2008. Citi's stock rose $1.59, or 3.4 percent, to $48.59.

BANKING ON BANKS: Several other big investment banks also rose. Morgan Stanley added 0.59, or 1.9 percent, to $32, while Goldman Sachs rose $2.04, or 1.2 percent, to $166.82. JPMorgan Chase climbed 79 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $56.58.

A DEAL: Generic drugmaker Mylan said it will buy Abbott Laboratories' generic-drug business in developed markets for $5.3 billion. The combined company will be organized in the Netherlands, which will cut its tax bill. The company will keep its headquarters near Pittsburgh. Mylan's stock added $1.31, or 2.6 percent, to $51.51, while shares of Abbott gained 41 cents, or 1 percent, to $41.71.

SWEETEND BID: Kindred Healthcare is offering more cash for shares of Gentiva Health Services. Kindred said Monday it will pay $16 per share to buy up to a 14.9 percent stake in Gentiva, just short of the 15 percent limit imposed by a shareholder rights plan that Gentiva's board adopted earlier this year. Shares of Kindred climbed 40 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $24.78, while Gentiva gained 58 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $16.40.

SECTOR WATCH: Nine of the 10 sectors in S&P 500 index posted gains, led by energy. Utilities lagged. Among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500 were Newmont Mining, which slipped 65 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $25.27, and luxury clothing maker Michael Kors, which slid $1.94, or 2.2 percent to $86.86.

OVERSEAS MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX added 1.2 percent and France's CAC-40 rose 0.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.54 percent from 2.52 percent late Friday. The price of oil fell $2.10 to $100.83.

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