Stocks close higher, Dow ends above 12,000
The Dow gained about 123 points, and the Nasdaq gained about 39 points, led by gains in energy
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GT Solar climbed after the firm boosted its profit and revenue outlook. Other solar stocks were also higher following the news.
Among the day's economic news, retail sales fell for the first time in 11 months, although the decline was less than expected. Total retail sales slipped 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department reported. Economists expected a decline of 0.4 percent, according to Reuters.
JCPenney soared almost 20 percent to lead the S&P 500 after the clothing retailer named former Apple's head of retail operations Ron Johnson as the new CEO.
Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index increased 0.2 percent in May, according to the Labor Department. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the core index also increased 0.2 percent.
Stocks initially soared following news the Chinese central bank raised reserve ratios requirement for banks for the ninth time since last October after data showed inflation rising to its highest level in almost three years.
The report helped boost metals prices, lifting mining and industrial stocks such as Freeport McMoran and Caterpillar.
Analysts said the news suggested a measured slowdown of the Chinese economy and this encouraged investors to go into risky assets. But economist Nouriel Roubini said China is facing a "meaningful probability" of a hard landing.
On the IPO front, Internet radio company Pandora is scheduled to begin trading Wednesday under the symbol "P." The firm is slated to offer 14.7 million shares for $10 to $12 a share. The company increased the size of its IPO last week by 43 percent in the face of high demand.
Also on the economic front, business inventories rose 0.8 percent April, the highest since October 2008, the Commerce Department reported. Economists expected a rise of 0.9 percent, according to Reuters.
European shares closed sharply higher following the positive economic report out of China.