Dow Logs 4-Day Rally, Stocks Post Weekly Gain
Stocks ended mixed in a quiet session Friday as investors were reluctant to jump in ahead of a weekend and after a handful of weak earnings reports weighed on sentiment.
Despite the lackluster session, stocks still capped a strong finish for the shortened trading week, with all three major averages adding almost two percent, despite ongoing woes over the euro zone debt crisis and some disappointing corporate earnings results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 96.50 points, or 0.76 percent, to finish at 12,720.48, posting a four-day rally, led by IBM and Microsoft .
The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.88 points, or 0.07 percent, to end at 1,315.38. The Nasdaq slipped 1.63 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 2,786.70.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled near 18.
For the week, the Dow soared 2.40 percent, the S&P advanced 2.04 percent and the Nasdaq soared 2.80 percent. All Dow components logged a gain for the week, led by BofA and H-P .
Nine out of the 10 S&P sectors ended in positive territory, led by techs, while utilities sagged.
“Earnings have not been spectacular—there was more hope than we’ve really seen justified, but we moved a long way,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. “There’s also a little historical echo—today’s January expiration and 10 of the last 13 have been down so you have some negative pressure…People also don’t believe that Europe is absolutely cured so there’s that little pullback.”
General Electric beat analyst expectations on profit butits revenue missed. GE is a minority shareholder in NBC Universal, the company that owns CNBC.
Among techs, Intel , IBM and Microsoft all beat street estimates. (Check results here.)
Meanwhile, Google plunged to lead the S&P laggards after the Internet giant's results failed to reach Wall Street estimates, which has beaten on revenue for eight consecutive quarters. Brokerages Baird and Barclays slashed their price target on the firm to $750 from $760 and to $700 from $730, respectively.
Schlumberger edged higher after the oilfield services company posted a 36 percent gain in earningsthanks to strong land and offshore operations.
Talbots surged over 15 percent amid takeover talks from Golden Gate and TPG among others.
Investors also kept a close watch on Greece as the debt-ridden continues to be in talks with private creditors over the details of a haircut on some of its bonds.
General Motors reclaimed again the top spot as the world's biggest-selling carmaker, dethroning Toyota for the first time since 2007.
In other news in the technology sector, a German court ruled against Samsungin a patent battle against Apple , part of the legal war the two giants are waging.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett raised his stake in UK retailer Tesco after the company, which is the third largest retailer in the world, warned on profits last week.
On the economic front, existing home sales rose 5 percent in December, according to the National Association of Realtors, hitting a 11-month highand logging its third-straight monthly increase.
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On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: EU finance ministers meet in Brussels; Earnings from Halliburton, CSX, Texas Instruments More From CNBC.com:
TUESDAY: 2-yr note auction, FOMC meeting begins, Obama's State of the Union address; Earnings from DuPont, J&J, McDonald's Travelers, Verizon, Apple, Yahoo
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, FHFA house price index, pending home sales, oil inventories, FOMC meeting announcement, Bernanke press conference; Earnings from Boeing, ConocoPhillips, United Tech, Delta, Motorola Solutions, Amgen, Netflix, SanDisk, Symantec
THURSDAY: Durable goods orders, jobless claims, new home sales, leading indicators, 7-yr note auction; Earnings from AT&T, Caterpillar, 3M, Nokia, AutoNation, Bristol-Myers, Time Warner Cable, Motorola Mobility, Starbucks
FRIDAY: GDP, consumer sentiment; Earnings from Chevron, P&G, DRHorton
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