Market flat as Goldman lingers despite Citi profit

 @ibtimes
on April 19 2010 11:16 AM

U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as lingering concerns over fraud charges against Goldman Sachs offset upbeat economic data and better-than-expected results from Citigroup Inc.

Citi jumped 7 percent to $4.88 after the bank posted a quarterly profit versus a year-ago loss and turned in its best results since 2007. helping bank stocks recover from Friday's sell-off after U.S. regulators charged Goldman Sachs Group Inc with fraud.

Goldman dropped nearly 1 percent at $159.44 after falling nearly 13 percent on Friday, while the KBW capital markets index <.KSX>, which was off 3.4 percent Friday, added 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, a gauge of U.S. economic prospects rose more strongly than expected to a record high in March, pointing to a steady recovery.

This morning's action is tied directly to decent earnings results, the (leading indicators) and the fact that we had a pretty significant sell-off on Friday, said Joseph Battipaglia, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

He said that after the recent run-up, even with strong earnings, the market would struggle to rise above 18-month highs reached last week.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 3.93 points, or 0.04 percent, to 11,022.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 0.01 point, flat percentage wise, at 1,192.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 4.25 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,477.01.

Weighing on sentiment, the Chinese State Council told banks they would be expected to raise mortgage rates and down payment requirements in an attempt to cool down real estate speculation. The move rattled local markets, with Shanghai shares <.SSEC> off nearly 5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng <.HSI> shed 2.1 percent.

International Business Machines Corp , Eli Lilly and Co and Zions Bancorp are due to report results later Monday.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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