Wall Street mixed ending week on positive note

2013-01-19 02:10:52 GMT2013-01-19 10:10:52(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

NEW YORK, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed Friday as the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey number came in disappointing, while investors expected a possible compromise on the U.S. debt ceiling issue.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 53.68 points, or 0. 39 percent, to 13,649.70. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 5.03 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,485.97. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 1.29 points, or 0.04 percent, to 3, 134.71.

For the week, the Dow was up 1.2 percent and the S&P percent inched up 0.9 percent, closing at a five-year high, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent.

Intel shares dropped 6.31 percent Friday after the world's biggest chip maker reported Thursday evening a net income of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars for the fourth quarter of 2012, down 27 percent from 3.4 billion dollars a year earlier, weighing on the Nasdaq, where Intel is listed.

Apple also dragged on the Nasdaq, the weakest performer among the three stock indices. The most valuable company lose 0.54 percent as Sharp, Apple's supplier, has reportedly put the brakes on the rate at which it produces screens for iPad devices.

General Electric, a Dow component, rallied 3.48 percent, after the conglomerate reported strong earnings with five of the company 's seven segments showing double digit earnings growth, supporting the Dow outperform the other two indices.

Shares of Morgan Stanley jumped 7.78 percent after the well- known investment bank posted upbeat earnings before Friday's opening bell. For the fourth quarter of 2012, Morgan Stanley, the sixth largest U.S. bank by assets, reported that the income from continuing operation was 894 million dollars compared with a loss of 349 million dollars for the year-ago period.

Morgan Stanley was the last most notable U.S. bank to report new quarterly earnings. Among the top lenders, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs posted better-than-expected earnings, and Bank of America posted mixed results, while Citigroup's earnings missed market estimates.

All the three indices accelerated their declines following the release of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey on Friday morning. The preliminary index for January came in at 71.3, short of the market estimate of 75. The reading was the lowest level since December 2011.

However, the equity market rebounded strongly to close at intraday highs in afternoon session after U.S. Republican lawmakers were said to be considering a temporary debt ceiling extension.

The fourth quarter earnings season will kick into high gear next week, with Google, Delta Air Lines and Verizon scheduled to post results.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery gained 0.07 percent to settle at 95.56 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as China's growth data came in supportive and Algerian hostage crisis caused concerns about oil supplies. For the week, it rose 2.14 percent.

Brent crude for March delivery went up 0.71 percent to close at 111.89 dollars a barrel, registering a weekly gain of 1.13 percent.

The U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies on Friday as investors took profits from the euro's previous increases and speculated the Bank of Japan would take further easing moves next week.

Gold for February on the COMEX fell 0.22 percent Friday to settle at 1,687 dollars per ounce on a stronger dollar. Rather, gold prices rose 1.6 percent for the week.

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