Stocks End Higher; Citigroup Jumps 4%

Stocks ended higher Monday, led by health care, as passage of the health-care bill lifted uncertainty surrounding the legislation that was hanging over the market. Citigroup jumped after an analyst upgrade.

Stocks had opened lower as the dollar gained amid worries about Greece's debt crisis.

The Dow gained 43.91, or 0.4 percent, to close at 10,785.89 — the latest in a string of 1 1/2-year highs — though volume was light once again. The S&P 500added 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 0.9 percent.

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved the health-care bill, which expands coverage to nearly all Americans and delivers a landmark victory to President Obama.

Health-care stocks had been beaten down in the months leading up to the bill's passage. Now, with the uncertainty about the legislation lifted, market pros are saying they think health care will outperform the broader market.

The sector finished mostly higher.

Merck and Pfizer ended near the front of the Dow pack.

Aetna , Universal Health and Tenet Healthcare advanced. But WellPoint and Humana ended lower amid some concerns about insurers with Medicare exposure.

Boeing advanced after Oppenheimer raised its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "underperform and Barclays raised its price target on the stock to $87 from $65 with an "overweight" rating. This came after the aerospace giant announced it was ramping up production of some jets to meet demand last week.

Citigroup was on fire today, up more than 4 percent, after Rochdale analyst Dick Bove upgraded his rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral," saying the company has enough liquidity to offload problem assets and support long-term growth.

Citigroup "will be a money-making machine again and the stock is long-term cheap," Bove said.

United Technologies and Chevron were among the biggest decliners on the Dow.

Ford shares jumped another 5 percent. The stock hit a five-year high last week after Moody's upgraded its debt rating on the automaker and said it had the potential to improve its finances even more.

Google shares fell about half a percent after the Internet titan redirected its China search site to its Hong Kong site amid a flap with China over censorship.

Wall Street's major averages are coming off their third straight week of gains despite modest losses on Friday. Now that the health care reform bill has been voted upon, investor attention may turn on another subject hitting close to home: financial regulation reform, as that effort moves back into the Capitol Hill spotlight this week.

Today brought the latest quarterly results coming from household products seller Williams-Sonoma and high-end retailer Tiffany .

Williams-Sonoma shares rose after the retailer beat profit expectations as it kept a lid on costs and enjoyed robust holiday sales.

Tiffany shares declined after the high-end jeweler missed its fourth-quarter earnings target but projected its full-year profit would beat expectations.

Later in the week, we'll get reports from KB Home, Walgreen, Adobe Systems, Best Buy and Oracle .

Overseas, investors continue to focus be on Greece's debt situation, with EU ministers set to meet this week. The euro has slipped to a three-week low amid concern about Greece, and the firming of the dollar is putting downward pressure on oil prices.

The Lundberg Letter reports the average retail price of gasoline in the U.S. rose 8.62 cents to $2.81 per gallon over the past two weeks, as retailers raised their profit margins. It was the second consecutive two-week period that saw an increase.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on CNBC this morning that the "extended period" language in the Fed statement is too restrictive and should be changed.

"I think the extended period language is putting us in a box. The truth is that it (raising the rate) will depend on the data," Bullard said.

This Week:

MONDAY: Geithner speaks; Fed's Lockhart speaks
TUESDAY: Fed's Plosser, Yellen speak; existing-home sales; two-year Treasury auction; Earnings from KB Home, Walgreens and Adobe
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps; durable-goods orders; new-home sales; weekly crude inventories; Fed's Hoenig speaks; five-year auction
THURSDAY: Toyota class-action hearing; weekly jobless claims; Fed's Pianalto speaks; seven-year auction; Earnings from Best Buy and Oracle
FRIDAY: Final read on Q4 GDP; consumer sentiment; Fed's Warsh, Bullard speak

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