Stocks Log Best Week in Almost a Year
Stocks logged their best week in nearly a year, led by commodity and bank stocks, as investors looked to earnings season, which kicks off next week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 59.04, or 0.6 percent Friday to close at 10,198.03.
That brings the Dow's total gain for the week to 5.28 percent and marked the best performance since the week ended July 17, 2009, when the Dow gained 7.3 percent.
Commodity stocks rallied amid signs of global growth and ahead of earnings from Alcoa , due out on Monday.
Banks rebounded after being the biggest decliners at the start of today's session, with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs up more than 1 percent.
Material and bank stocks were the week's best performers, up 8 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
Johnson & Johnson dropped 1.4 percent, making it the biggest decliner on the Dow today, after the company recalled more Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs due to a musty, moldy order.
Google helped lift techs and make the Nasdaq the best performer of the three main indexes after China renewed Google's license to operate a Web site in the country, ending a long standoff between the two.
Trading volume was light, with just 882 million shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange, as many investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of next week's earnings reports.
In addition to Alcoa, reports are due out from Intel , Google , Bank of America , Citigroupand General Electric .
Investors are looking to the reports for insight on whether or not the economy is headed for a double dip.
"This isn't a double-dip, it's just a soft spot. We get one in every recovery," said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston. "We think the top line is going to definitely move forward and probably be at a post-recession post-crisis high and we're going to be moving in a very positive direction."
BP shares eked out a gain as the Obama administration was preparing to unveil a revised moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal court refused a request by the Obama administration to keep the prior ban in place while it decides the case.
On the M&A front, Airgas raised its bid for Air Products to $63.50 a share from its original offer of $60.
Disney finalized a deal to sell its Miramax unit to construction magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital for between $600 million and $700 million in cash.
And BC Partners and Silver Lake Partners are buying health care company MultiPlan from Carlyle Group in a $3.1 billion private equity deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Property and casualty insurance company Ace looks to have been picked to replace biotech Millipore in the S&P 500. Millipore is being acquired by Germany's Merck.
On the retail front, Jefferies lowered its outlook for Best Buy , cutting the company to "hold" from "buy" on concerns over "continued softness" in electronic sales.
Meanwhile, UBS raised its rating on Costco to "buy" from "neutral," saying the stock's low price makes for an attractive entry point, particularly as sales at the wholesale chain remain attractive.
In today's economic news, wholesale inventories rose 0.5 percentin May, as expected.
In Europe, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said budget cuts by EU countries will not lead the euro zone back into recession. The euro is holding near two-month highs amid Trichet's comments and the prospect of bank stress test results later this month.
On Tap for Next Week:
MONDAY: Fed's Bernanke, Lacker speak; Earnings from Alcoa, Chevron (interim)
TUESDAY: Small business optimism report; International trade; Treasury budget; Earnings from Intel, Yum
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps; Government report on retail sales; import/export prices; business inventories; Fed minutes
THURSDAY: PPI; Empire State survey; weekly jobless claims; industrial production; Philly Fed survey; Yellen nomination hearing; Fed's Lacker speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan, Novartis & Google
FRIDAY: CPI; consumer sentiment; Earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup, GE and Gannett