Stocks finished mixed Friday, as investors digested a handful of tepid earnings and economic reports in addition to ongoing jitters in the euro zone. The S&P and Nasdaq posted their fourth weekly gains, while the Dow finished in negative territory for the week.
Still, all three major averages are still on pace for their best monthly gains since October 2011.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74.17 points, or 0.58 percent, to finish at 12,660.46, led by Chevron led the blue-chip laggards.
The S&P 500 cut most of its losses but still slipped 2.10 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 1,316.33. The Nasdaq added 11.27 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at 2,816.55.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished below 19.
Among the key S&P sectors, utilities lagged, while financials closed higher.
For the week, the Dow declined 0.47 percent, the S&P eked out a gain of 0.07 percent and the Nasdaq rallied 1.07 percent. Among the Dow components, Caterpillar was the biggest winner, while Travelers sagged.
“What we’re witnessing is a market that’s just taking a breather and profits,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “There’s a factor of seasonality moving into the markets—February tends to be a month in which we see some consolidation and I think this is a market that’s had a very good run so you’re going to see some profit taking.”
U.S. GDP expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, according to the Commerce Department, logging its fastest pace in 1-1/2 years in the fourth quarter, but the figure was still slightly below expectations for a 3.0 percent gain. (Read More: Economic Growth Picks Up, So Why All the Gloom?)
Meanwhile, the consumer sentiment index rose to a 11-month high in January, climbing to 75, from December's reading of 69.9, according to a the University of Michigan survey.
In Europe, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the debt-ridden nation is just "one step away" from a debt swap deal with its private creditors. Venizelos' statements echo an earlier comment from European economic affairs chief Ollie Rhen who said a Greek debt deal is imminent and should be completed by the end of January.
Meanwhile, Fitch said it is downgrading Italy, Spain, Belgium, Cyprus and Slovenia, in the face of the ongoing financial and economic headwinds from the euro zone's debt crisis.