Market Wrap: U.S. Retail Sales Trump Views; Citi Continues Banking Win Streak; Dr. Kim Becomes World Bank President

April 16, 2012 5:50 PM EDT
Market wrap-up for April 16th

End of the Day: Dow Jones up 71.8 to 12,921.41; Nasdaq down 22.9 to 2,988.40; S&P 500 down 0.7 to 1,369.57

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Econo-palooza!: U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March, surpassing expectations calling for just a 0.3 percent gain. The number indicates consumers are used to more volatile energy prices, with average gasoline prices rising 1.1 percent in the month, as outlooks for economic improvement brighten.

    Otherwise, business inventories in February jumped 0.6 percent, compared with views calling for a 0.5 percent gain.

    Homebuilders saw some pullback as the NAHB Housing Market Index for April was 25, about 4 points lighter than expectations.

  • It was definitely the mad rapping skills that got him in: The Executive Directors of the World Bank Group selected Dr. Jim Yong Kim as President for a five-year term beginning on July 1, 2012. The President is Chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The President is also ex Chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

    For more color from the release, click here. To have the time of your life watching Kim rock the mic, click here.

  • Profit feels great!: Citigroup (NYSE: C) reported first-quarter EPS of $1.11 on revs of $20.2 billion (both excluding CVA/DVA), compared with EPS of $1.00 on revs of $19.8 billion expected by the Street. Citi ended the quarter with Tier 1 Common Ratio of 12.4% under Basel I and an estimated Tier 1 Common Ratio of 7.2% under Basel III.

    Numbers follow strong reports from JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) late last week.

    For more color on Citi's quarter, click here.

  • Giving Apple a high five: Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) extended its losing streak to five sessions with a close 4.2 percent lower Monday. The last time Apple had down days for five consecutive sessions or more was last September/October, when shares fell from just above $403 to $372, a 7.7 percent drop.

    Many are citing Apple simply taking a breather on visions of a cheaper iPad. We have five other great ideas behind the move.

  • Wal-mart aiming to get more local?: Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) board of directors nominated Marissa A. Mayer of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) for election as a new member of the company’s board at Walmart’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on June 1, 2012.

    If elected, Mayer would become the sixteenth member of the Board. Mayer is currently the Vice President of Location and Local Services at Google.
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