Stocks Mixed as Nasdaq, S&P 500 Slip

U.S. stocks cleared most of Monday’s early gains, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising and the Nasdaq composite index and broad S&P 500 stock index showing losses, as with investors unloading technology and consumer-related shares after March retail sales topped expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 76.48 points to 12,926.07.  The S&P 500 Index was off 0.17 point to 1,370.09. The Nasdaq Composite fell 16.81points to 2994.52.

U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, as a healthier job market and warmer weather encouraged more consumers to shop. The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March. That’s below February’s 1 percent increase but above January’s pace.

Citigroup Inc’s first-quarter profit beat Wall Street estimates as expenses fell 7 percent from the 2011 fourth quarter. The New York-based lender said earnings per share, excluding the impact of certain accounting adjustments for changes in the value debts and credits, were $1.11. Net income, under generally accepted accounting principles, was $2.93 billion, or 95 cents a share, down from $2.99 billion, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue from the company’s ongoing securities trading and investment banking business declined 12 percent from the strong quarter a year earlier but rose 65 percent from the weak 2011 fourth quarter.

Spain’s debt yields broke above 6 percent on Monday as investors worried about its budget, knocking the euro and sending safe-haven German bonds to a record last set at the height of the euro zone crisis.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP said it is looking to raise between $701.5 million to $762.5 million in its initial public offering, valuing the company at as much as $7.61 billion, as it presses on with its plans to catch up with rivals Blackstone (NYS:BX), KKR (NYS:KKR – News) and Apollo (NYS:APO).

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