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US stocks edge higher to new records

US stocks closed higher Monday, edging to new all-time highs as in-line Chinese economic growth data offset disappointing US retail sales figures.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.96 (0.13 percent) to 15,484.26.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 2.31 (0.14 percent) at 1,682.50.

It was the third straight session in which the Dow and S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 7.41(0.21 percent) at 3,607.49.

David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management, said Monday's modest gains came on the heels of "mixed" economic news.

US retail sales rose just 0.4 percent in June, below the 0.7 percent expected by analysts. But China's second-quarter gross domestic product growth came in at 7.5 percent, in line with expectations and better than what some experts feared.

Levy said the market is still digesting last week's gains. Early earnings results have been okay, but "it's too early in earnings season to say a trend has been established," he said.

Citigroup surged 2.0 percent after reporting earnings of $1.25 per share compared with analyst expectations of $1.18. Revenues in securities trading and investment banking were particularly strong.

The Citi report, which followed strong earnings from peers JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo last week, helped fuel another rally in many banking shares. Wells Fargo rose 1.7 percent, Goldman Sachs jumped 1.8 percent and Morgan Stanley picked up 2.1 percent.

Boeing jumped 3.7 percent after British safety regulators said there was no evidence Friday's fire in an empty parked 787 Dreamliner aircraft was related to the company's recent battery problems. Boeing shares sank Friday after the fire revived fears about the safety of the plane.

AT&T dipped 0.7 percent after announcing a $4 billion deal to buy wireless carrier Leap Wireless. Leap shot up 112.4 percent.

Pharmaceutical company Alexion gave up 5.6 percent after jumping last week on reports that Swiss company Roche was seeking financing for a takeover of the company. Alexion had gained 12.6 percent Friday on the takeover talk.

First Solar picked up 5.5 percent on news that China plans to boost its solar capacity.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond fell to 2.56 percent from 2.60 percent late Friday, while the 30-year yield dropped to 3.61 percent from 3.65 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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