Futures Rise After Strong Retail Sales Report

U.S. stock index futures were higher Monday after retail sales gained more-than-expected last Month, and as investors digested Citigroup's earnings report.

Retail sales increased 0.8 percent iN March after a revised 1 percent increase in February, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a gain of 0.3 percent, according to a Reuters poll. The better-than-expected retail numbers could prompt analysts to raise their first-quarter growth forecasts from its current level of 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in New York plunged to 6.56 in April from 20.21 in the previous month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Economists had expected a reading of 17.50.

On the earnings front, Citigroup posted earnings of $1.11 a share for the first quarter but its revenue fell sharply. After trading more than 1 percent higher prior to the eanings release, Citi shares briefly traded negative after the earnings announcements before swinging to a small gain.

Financial shares led stock market losses last week after JPMorgan posted results that topped expectations but showed year-on-year falls in net income and revenue.

U.S. stocks declined sharply last Friday, with all three major averages logging their worst weekly decline this year, after data showed China’s growth rate fell in the first quarter, and Spanish banks borrowed heavily from the European Central Bank in March, intensifying concerns about Spain’s ability to combat its debt burdens.

The Treasury department will release February’s report on Net Long-Term Treasury International Capital (TIC), showing net foreign purchases of U.S. long-term securities, at 9:00 a.m. Flows for January stood at $101 billion.

At 10:00 a.m., the government will release February business inventories, which economists polled by Briefing.com see rising 0.5 percent following January’s 0.7 percent increase.

Also out at 10:00 a.m. is the National Association of Home Builder’s(NAHB) Housing Market Index for April. Analysts polled by Briefing.com expect the survey, which asks NAHB members to rate market conditions for new house sales over the next 6 months, to stand at 29, up from 28 inMarch.

Google and Oracle are due in court in San Francisco on Monday regarding their high-profile dispute over Smartphone technology rights. Settlement talks between Google CEO Larry Page and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison have so far failed.

BNY Mellon is due in the U.S. Tax Court on Monday, in the first of several lawsuits regarding a tax benefit it received from a $1.5 billion loan from U.K. bank Barclays .

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

MONDAY: Business inventories, housing market index, Eli Lilly shareholders mtg
TUESDAY: Housing starts, industrial, Citigroup shareholders mtg, tax day; Earnings from Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, J&J, IBM, Intel, Yahoo
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, oil inventories; Earnings from Abbott Labs, BlackRock, Bank of NY Mellon, Halliburton, Ebay, Qualcomm, Yum Brands
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, existing home sales, Philadelphia Fed survey, leading indicators; Earnings from BofA, DuPont, Morgan Stanley, Nokia, Travelers, Verizon, Microsoft, AMD, Capital One, SanDisk
FRIDAY: Earnings from GE, McDonald's, Schlumberger

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