Why the Dow Rose on a Mixed Day

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) started the week off strong, gaining about a half of a percentage point after an upbeat retail sales report. The report showed that U.S. retail sales grew 0.8% in March despite high gas prices, significantly beating estimates.

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average71.82 [0.56%]12,921.41
Nasdaq-22.93 [-0.76%]2,988.40
S&P 500-0.69 [-0.05%]1,369.57

Still, markets ended the day mixed, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq was helped down by Apple's (NAS: AAPL) slide of more than 4%. It's the fifth straight day that the tech giant's stock has declined despite no overtly bad news, leaving analysts to believe that profit taking was driving down Apple shares.

The Dow's second highest gainer on the day, after Travelers, was Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) , which finished up about 1.47%. The positive March retail report helped push the stock higher, as did the company's reputation as a safe haven. Investors on both sides of the pond are increasingly worried about Spain and its debt burden as the country's 10-year bond yields rose above 6% for the first time since December.


On the other side of the coin, Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) was the Dow's biggest loser today, dropping just over 1%. The PC giant is coming back down to earth after it rose more than 7% on Thursday when two research firms reported that first-quarter global PC shipments rose 2%, and HP grew U.S. PC market share faster than any other company, including Apple.

Outside the Dow, Citigroup (NYS: C) rose 1.77% on reporting earnings of $1.11 per share after stripping out an accounting cost. That figure was above analyst expectations of $1.02 per share. Earnings at the company's consumer-bank unit increased 14%, while revenue from fixed-income markets rose 19%. It was some much-needed good news for Citi, which was one of the banks that failed the Federal Reserve's stress test last month.  

The big picture
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At the time this article was published Brendan Byrnes owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Citigroup.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple and Procter & Gamble and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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