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Stock Market News Update for Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday saw the U.S. stocks gain steam to close the session sharply higher, extending last week's rally, on upbeat earnings from Citigroup and improvement in the housing sector.

The recent foreclosure-related fears plaguing the financial industry were somewhat deflated today, thanks to a stronger-than-anticipated earnings report from Citigroup (NYSE:C). More specifically, the banking behemoth's third-quarter figures came in above the Street's predictions, which – along with news of fewer loan defaults during the quarter – breathed new life into the battered banking sector.

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