Stocks Open Lower, Citi Beats on Profit

Stocks opened lower on Monday as weak economic data in China sparked a global commodities selloff and  trumped an encouraging earnings report from Citigroup. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell  73.49 points, or 0.49%, to 14,791.57. The S&P 500 lost 10.11 points, or 0.64%, to 1,578.74. The Nasdaq  Composite COMP slid 20.90 points, or 0.58% to 3,274.05.

Citigroup’s first-quarter earnings beat expectations on both profit and revenue thanks to improvements  on loans and credit spreads, sending shares higher in premarket trading. The third-largest U.S. bank by  deposits said it earned $1.29 a share, against estimates of $1.17, with total revenue of $20.81 billion,  better than estimates of $20.17 billion.

China’s gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, over the same period a year-ago,  below the expected 8 percent level and down from 7.9 percent in the previous quarter.

Gold futures slumped more than $85 to their lowest level in over two years on Monday. Gold for June  delivery GCM3 -5.87% tumbled $87.40, or 5.8%, to $1,413.80 an ounce, but had dropped to as low as  $1,384.60. Gold last week lost 4.7%.

Dish Network Corp offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion (16.6 billion pounds) in cash and  stock, a move that could thwart Sprint’s proposed acquisition by Japan’s SoftBank Corp.

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