NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages finished with solid gains Friday after the European Central Bank pursued measures to boost banks on the continent and a growth package was put forth at a "mini" European summit in Rome.
The news provided a measure of relief for investors still digesting statements from U.S. central bank officials earlier in the day that the
is unlikely to pursue any aggressive measures to stimulate the economy anytime soon. The financials were market leaders as an anticipated downgrade of major global banks by Moody's wasn't as severe as anticipated.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 67 points, or 0.53%, to close at 12,641. The blue-chip index lost 1% in its first weekly decline in three weeks.
was gained nearly 10 points, or 0.72%, to finish at 1335. It lost 0.59% for the week.
was advanced 33 points, or 1.17%, to settle at 2892. Despite Thursday's severe sell-off, the Nasdaq still managed to finish the week with a 0.66% gain.
Year-to-date, the Dow is up 3.5%, the S&P 500 has added 6.2%, and the Nasdaq has risen 11%.
Of the 30 Dow components, 28 were moving higher, led by
Bank of America
, all up more than 1.5%.
were the only blue chips in decline.
Late Thursday, Moody's lowered the credit ratings of fifteen of the biggest global banks but the stocks shrugged off the news. Shares of JPMorgan Chase jumped nearly 2%. The
KBW Bank index
was up 1.6% on the day.
In the broad market, the technology, health care and consumer cyclical sectors were the best-performing industry groups, aside from the financials.
The European Central Bank said it plans to widen the range of collateral for its lending activities, accepting lower quality assets and reducing the rating threshold, in efforts to try to help facilitate the expansion of lending.
The Governing Council said in a statement that it has decided on "additional measures to improve the access of the banking sector to eurosystem operations in order to further support the provision of credit to households and non-financial corporations."
Stocks suffered their worst single-day drop in three weeks on Thursday as investors were spooked by a gloomy batch of global economic data, a bearish trading call by Goldman Sachs and disappointment with the outcome of the
latest policy meeting.