* U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in 1-1/2 years
* Ukraine's acting president threatens military action
* Indexes up: Dow 0.45 pct, S&P 0.55 pct, Nasdaq 0.46 pct
(Updates to morning trading, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 14 U.S. stocks bounced back on
Monday, following a sharp selloff last session, with earnings
results from Citigroup and retail sales data lifting sentiment
while traders kept tabs on the possible escalation of
hostilities in Ukraine.
Financial stocks were among the largest gainers after Citi
said its quarterly net profit rose as a smaller loss on
its troubled assets made up for a drop in revenue and profit
from its core trading and lending businesses. Citi shares
added 4.4 percent to $47.69.
"This is a reflex rally, we're bouncing back probably on
Citi. It's the first kind of OK news on banks we get in a couple
of weeks," said Jack de Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor
Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Futures had gained earlier after data showed U.S. retail
sales recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March, in
the latest sign the economy was emerging from its
"People are trying to figure out how much of the (recent
data) weakness was weather related," De Gan said. "When you see
pent-up spending like this it validates the idea it was because
of the weather."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72.18 points or
0.45 percent, to 16,098.93, the S&P 500 gained 9.9 points
or 0.55 percent, to 1,825.59 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 18.339 points or 0.46 percent, to 4,018.073.
Ukraine's acting president threatened military action on
Monday, after pro-Russian separatists occupying government
buildings in eastern cities ignored an ultimatum to leave and
another group attacked a police headquarters.
Russian stocks fell 1.3 percent and the rouble
hit its weakest in three weeks against the U.S. dollar as
Ukraine's preparedness to fight heightened fears of Russian
military intervention and more Western sanctions against Moscow.
Harbor Advisory's De Gan said the market should be more
concerned about a military intervention from Russia. "That would
give the market reason for a further correction," he said.
On Friday, JPMorgan's disappointing earnings were partly to
blame for the day's selloff. Biotech and other momentum stocks
led the Nasdaq Composite lower, pushing the index below 4,000
for the first time in two months. A biotech index on
Friday closed 21 percent below its record closing high hit Feb.
25, entering bear market territory.
Medtronic shares fell 1.8 percent to $58.12, paring
a sharper loss in the premarket, after a court ruling that would
prevent the company from selling its CoreValve system in the
United States because of a patent infringement. Shares of
Edwards Lifesciences, on the other side of the ruling,
rallied 14.6 percent to $83.65.
Shares of Aspen Insurance Holdings jumped 14.7
percent to $45.14 after Endurance Specialty offered to
buy Aspen for $3.2 billion in cash and stock. Endurance shares
fell 3.1 percent to $52.14.
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals rose 6.9 percent to $1.70
after it said its experimental drug to treat diabetes met a main
goal in a mid-stage study on patients with type 1 diabetes.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and