Stocks finished near session highs Friday, recovering from a two-day slump, lifted by upbeat economic data from Europe and after comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard that the central bank's aggressive easy money policy will stay for a "long time."
The Dow eked out a slim weekly gain, avoiding its third-consecutive weekly decline. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 posted its first weekly loss this year, snapping its seven-week win streak.
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"We're seeing some signs that the weekend anxiety is not that heavy," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. "We have the Italian election coming up [this weekend] and a sign that I look at is the U.S. dollar—it was higher this morning on some anxiety and there was a bit of a flight to safety in Treasurys, but that's abating and that's telling me that [the market's] not too concerned about the weekend so that's why we're having a good rally."