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Stocks Rise on Speculation of Fed Support


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock indices rose Friday, erasing earlier losses, as investors thought it was increasingly likely the Federal Reserve will prop up the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 41 points, or 0.3%, to 13,206 after trading as low as 13,095. The index closed up 0.9% for the week.

Of the 30 components on the blue-chip index, 10 were in the red. Cisco Systems (CSCO), American Express (AXP) and Walt Disney (DIS) were the biggest percentage losers. McDonald's (MCD), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), United Technologies (UTX) and DuPont (DD) were among winners.

The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,406. It closed up 1.1% for the week.

The Nasdaq finished up 2 points to 3,021, climbing 1.8% for the week.

Volume totaled a thin 59.9 million on the Dow and 1.55 billion on the Nasdaq.

Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for Channel Capital Research, noted that this week, global jitters kept the S&P 500 locked in a trading range of 1,280 on the downside and 1,420 on the upside.

"Now you have a situation where the Fed says it will have our back -- that 'we will resolve this, but don't have details' -- that makes people nervous," said Roberts.

Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed the country's exports grew a mere 1% in July from a year earlier, falling significantly short of forecasts for an 8.6% increase, according to a Reuters poll. Imports grew just 4.7%, far below expectations of a 7.2% rise.

On Thursday, data showed that growth of industrial production in China fell to 9.2% in July from 9.5% in June, its lowest rate since May 2009.

"Clearly, the sluggish export sector was another factor behind the weaker-than-expected industrial production data yesterday," said Yao Wei, a China economist at Societe Generale. "We think July probably was not the bottom."

Wei said Beijing may make one more attempt to lift market confidence, most likely with an imminent 50-basis-point cut in the reserve ratio requirement.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department reported a 0.6% decline in July import prices and a 0.5% increase in export prices. Economists had forecast a 0.1% rise in import prices and an unchanged reading for exports, according to Reuters.

September crude oil futures fell 49 cents to settle at $92.87 a barrel as the International Energy Agency reduced its global oil demand projections for 2013 by 400,000 barrels a day due to a slowdown in the global economy. That reinforced the gloomy outlook from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries this week as well as raft of soft economic reports from China, the top energy consumer.

December gold futures settled up $2.60 at $1,622.80 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 13/32, lowering the yield to 1.650%. The greenback was down 0.07%, according to the dollar index.

The FTSE in London closed flat and the DAX in Germany settled down 0.3%.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed lower by 0.7% and the Nikkei in Japan settled down 1%.

In corporate news, Research In Motion (RIMM) tracked higher by 6.3% as rumors swirled that IBM (IBM) has an interest in the BlackBerry maker's enterprise services unit.

Yahoo! (YHOO) shares fell 5.4% the day after the company spoke of the possibility of re-evaluating how it deploys the cash it will gain from a multi-billion dollar sale of half of its stake in Alibaba. Previously, Yahoo! said most of the cash would be returned to shareholders.

J.C. Penney (JCP) reported a loss of $147 million, or 67 cents a share, in the quarter ended July 28, compared with year-earlier net income of $14 million, or 7 cents, amid steep sales declines since the company switched to a new pricing plan last winter.

The company has withdrawn its profit guidance for the year. Still, shares closed up 5.9%.

Manchester United (MANU - Get Report) shares opened for trading Friday at $14.05, slightly above the pricing of $14 a share. Expectations for the IPO were $16 to $20 a share.

The IPO values the soccer club at $2.3 billion, rendering it the world's most valuable sports franchise.

Shares closed flat at $14.

Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) topped analysts' expectations on the top and bottom lines in its second quarter. The results were driven by mobile computing, particularly the booming tablet market, according to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. Shares fell 0.5%.

Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life said Friday it agreed to acquire up to 20% of Janus Capital (JNS), the U.S. asset manager.

Janus shares popped 10%.


-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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