Stocks finished higher Friday, with the Nasdaq posting its best weekly gain in almost three months, helped by a round of encouraging earnings, a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report and despite weak GDP report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 23.69 points, or 0.18 percent, to finish at 13,228.31, crossing into positive territory for the month.
The S&P 500 added 3.38 points, or 0.24 percent, to end at 1,403.36, crossing above the 1,400 milestone. The Nasdaq climbed 18.59 points, or 0.61 percent, to close at to 3,069.20.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed above 16.
For the week, the Dow jumped 1.53 percent, the S&P 500 rallied 1.80 percent, and the Nasdaq surged 2.29 percent. AT&T was the best weekly performer on the blue-chip index, while P&G slumped.
Most key S&P sectors ended in positive territory for the week, led by telecoms. Consumerstaples finished in the red.
"You continue to see this QE3 carrot get dangled," said Jeff Kilburg, senior development director at TreasuryCurve on CNBC's "Power Lunch." "The sentiment is not so much pessimism, but more uncertainty. So next week, the paramount issue is the jobs number."
Stocks got a lift earlier this week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that the central bank remains prepared to take action, if needed, to help the economy.
Consumer sentiment inched up slightlyto 76.4 in April from 76.2 in March, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading. Meanwhile, economic growth in the U.S. slowed in the first quarterat a 2.2 percent annual rate from the fourth quarter's 3 percent growth, according to the Commerce Department.
"Relative to my estimates, there were a number of offsetting misses, with the overarching theme being stronger household spending (consumption and housing) and weaker business investment...the dagger came from a second straight steep drop in federal government spending due to plunging defense outlays," wrote Stephen Stanley, economist at Pierpoint Securities in a note. "Boy, wait until those budget cuts start to kick in!"
Meanwhile, other experts seemed encouraged by the data.