Shares of Ann Inc., the parent of retailer Ann Taylor, jumped 20 percent after its second-quarter profit rose 24 percent. Foot Locker rose 1.7 percent after quarterly profits leaped 59 percent, boosted by higher sales, cost controls and a small tax-related gain.
A few retailers did struggle. Sears Holdings Corp. fell 1.3 percent, giving back some of Thursday's big gain.
Expectations for retailers were low, but they beat them, said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
"Nobody going into the summer expected a vibrant consumer, so expectations were muted," he said.Technology stocks saw both highs and lows on Friday. Apple hit an all-time high, rising almost 2 percent to $648.11. It now has a market value of about $608 billion, almost 50 percent higher than No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp. at $408 billion. But declines continued for Facebook and Groupon, the online coupon company. Facebook closed at $19, about half the value of its initial public offering price of $38. Investors are worried that mobile ads won't bring in as much money as those seen on desktop computers. And Facebook's short-term problems include the expiration of a lock-up period on Thursday that had kept early investors from selling. Groupon lost another 5 percent to close at $4.75. It has now set a new low every day since Tuesday. Its woes include foreign-exchange rates in Europe and a worry that its business isn't very hard for competitors to copy. Health care stocks declined a half-percent, the biggest drop among the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500. Pharmaceutical companies led the decline. Pfizer fell 1 percent, and Merck dropped 1.4 percent. Computer chip maker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. stock dropped 14 percent after a revenue decline sliced its quarterly net income by more than half. Its CEO cited a slowing economy for the trouble.
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