Stocks pared their early gains to finish mixed Friday, but the Dow and S&P still ended higher for the week, propelled by some robust earnings and encouraging news from the euro zone.
"The U.S. economy is a bit stronger today than it was a year ago," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist BlackRock on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Questions about the U.S. economy or the European debt situation caused the market to stop going up, but I think we’ll resume the grind higher for the back part of this year.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65.16, or 0.5 percent to finish at 13,029.49, led by Microsoft and Travelers , after flirting with the 13,000 milestone all week.
Bank of America led the blue-chip laggards, a day after the banking giant posted earnings that fell 68 percent from a year ago, but results still beat estimates. Analysts were mixed on the stock—CLSA's analyst Mike Mayo issued a "sell" rating on the stock, while KBW and Citigroup both raised their price target on the company.
The S&P 500 eked out a small gain of 1.21 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 1,378.53. And the Nasdaq slipped 7.11 points, or 0.24 percent, to end at 3,000.45.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled below 18.
For the week, the Dow gained 1.40 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.60 percent, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.36 percent. Travelers was the biggest weekly advancer on the Dow, while BofA was the top laggard.
Most key S&P sectors finished the week in positive territory, led by utilities, but techs finished in the red for the second week in a row.
Stocks zigzagged for most of the week as investors sifted through several weaker-than-expected economic news, ongoing jitters from the euro zone and some robust earnings reports.
“It’s been a tug of war all week between dubious macro data and strong earnings,” said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors. “And the European situation is like the weather—the further out you look, the harder it is to forecast.”
“Some deceleration in the macro data [this week] signaled fear that this quarter’ earnings strength wouldn’t be continuing,” explained Creatura. “Some people are suspicious that some of the strength in the first quarter was borrowed from future quarters because of the mild weather.”
Apple slumped more than 2 percent, trading below $580 a share. The stock is currently in correction territory, tumbling more than 10 percent from its all-time high of $644 earlier this month. (Read More: Once-Mighty Apple Stock Plunges Over 10% in 10 Days)