The Dow scraped out a gain in the last 15 minutes of trading Friday, bringing a rousing week-long earnings-spurred rally to a positive close.
The bluechip index closed just one-third of a percent higher, but it was enough to cement a 7.3 percent rally that came as earnings season kicked into full gear. All 30 Dow components were positive for the week.
The Standard & Poor's 500 and the tech-laden Nasdaq finished almost flat for the day, but both also capped off strong weeks.
For the week, the S&P was up a shade under 7 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 7.4 percent, putting the index up 8 percent over the past eight sessions.
Wall Street struggled for direction most of the day, trading right around breakeven as worries over General Electric put a damper on earnings momentum.
GE shares hit a sharp slide even though the company's earnings actually beat Wall Street estimates. Credit-quality issues that have dogged financial firms, though, put a damper on the report
It was an enormous week for financial stocks, particularly credit card companies including Capital One Financial and American Express, both of which said they expected delinquencies to ease.
Financials again were in focus Friday.
CIT Group was among the big stories of the day as the major commercial lender weighed options to avoid bankruptcy, including talks with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs for a $2 billion to $3 billion short-term cash infusion. CIT shares were approaching 100 percent gains for the day.
The market weighed conflicting economic reports, one showing an unexpected rise in new housing starts and building permitswhile another that showed unemployment reaching record highs in several states.
And International Business Machines rose after beating earnings estimates and raising its outlook Thursday. IBM led gainers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.