April 14 - Summary: stocks were skittish Monday, rebounding but fluctuating wildly as bargain hunters and investors worried about a coming ''correction'' battled it out; Retail sales jump, Citigroup support stock buying. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Markets bounce back, but investors struggle to commit, sending stock prices gyrating into the close. Blue chips rallied 146 points, the S&P 500 rose 14 and the Nasdaq rebounded by 22 points - all off the highs of the day. Some investors decided it was time to look for bargains after stocks suffered their worst week in nearly two years. But some analysts question whether this bounce back is just a trap before markets fall again. Either way, Russell Investments' Stephen Wood says expect further volatility. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN WOOD, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, RUSSELL INVESTMENTS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Markets have been kind of flat year-to-date, which given all the information that's been priced in: the earnings cycle, the revenue cycle, what's happening in the Ukraine, emerging markets, potential issues coming out of Washington; so give all that volatility - you know the markets are kind of flat-ish year-to-date, which speaks to me to being a little more resilient than the headlines might insinuate." Retail sales brought some much needed relief. Total sales rose by the largest amount in a 1-1/2 during the month of March and February's sales figures were revised higher than initially announced. Excluding strong auto sales -the gain was the largest in a year. The data provide further evidence that the economic slowdown earlier this year was largely due to weather. Take a look at how some consumer related stocks fared: MasterCard, Visa, BeBe Stores, Diageo and Anheuser-Busch InBev among the big gainers. Another gainer: Citigroup. The bank, which has been back in the news in a negative light, surprised with a less-bad quarterly report. Income was better-than-expected with its troubled assets, well, less troubled. Total revenues, however, down with Citigroup hit by the drop in mortgage lending and bond trading, which also hurt JP Morgan Chase. In other corporate stories: Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone maker, for an undisclosed amount. The deal is part of Google's plans to deliver wireless Internet access to remote parts of the world. Facebook is looking to expand its social network to the financial network - as in a mobile payments service, according to the Financial Times. Now to Europe, rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine kept stocks from rising significantly.