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.)