Stocks Slide as Retail Sales Disappoint

Stocks opened lower Tuesday after a report showed retail sales unexpectedly dropped — and dropped sharply — in March.

But Citigroup , Bank of America and General Motors advanced.

Stocks finished mixed on Mondayas investors worried about General Motors, braced for the earnings onslaught and awaited an Obama announcement.

Retail sales tumbled 1.1 percentlast month, a big disappointment as economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3-percent increase. Excluding the volatile auto component, sales fell 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, producer prices, which were eclipsed by the retail report, dropped 1.2 percent. Excluding food and energy costs, core PPI was flat. Business inventories dropped 1.3 percent in February, as expected.

The market will be closely tuned in to a speech by President Barack Obama at 11 am on the government's actions to date to stem the crisis and what is still needed to get the economy back on track. Then, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will answer questions on the financial crisis at 1:30 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.

Goldman Sachs surprised the market late Thursday, reporting earnings a day earlier than expected. The brokerage beat expectationswitharnings of $3.39 a share, or $1.66 billion. But the investment bank's shares fell in after-hours trading after it said it planned to raise $5 billion in a stock offering to pay back TARP funds it received fro mthe government.

The Goldman beat was an encouraging sign, coming on the heels of a better-than-expected forecast from Wells Fargo last week.

Still, if other banks don't follow Goldman's example in repaying TARP funds, that will put a damper on the market, Dodge Dorland, chief investment officer of Landor Capital Management, said.

"We're going through a period right now, where we expect the results to be favorable," Dorland said ahead of JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup's earnings out this week.

JPMorgan is expected to release results on Thursday, while Citigroup and CNBC's parent company General Electric are due to report earnings on Friday.

Johnson & Johnson reported its earnings fell but managed to top forecastsamid tight cost controls. The drug maker also backed its outlook for this year.

Shares of fellow Dow component Intel ticked higher ahead of earnings from the chip maker, due out after the closing bell today.

Still to Come:

TUESDAY: Earnings from Intel and CSX
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications; NY Fed Empire State survey; CPI; industrial production; weekly crude inventories; NAHB housing index; Fed's beige book; Earnings from Abbott Labs
THURSDAY: Housing starts; weekly jobless claims: Philly Fed survey; Fed's Lockhart, Yellen speak; Earnings from JPMorgan, Harley-Davidson, Nokia, Southwest Air and Google
FRIDAY: CNBC's 20th Anniversary; consumer sentiment; Bernanke speaks; Earnings from Citigroup, GE and Mattel

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