The Dow was up 0.34% to close at 16,064.77 while the S&P 500 added 0.5% to finish the week at 1,804.76. The Nasdaq gained 0.6% to 3,991.65. for the week, the S&P and Dow gained 0.37% and 0.65%, respectively while the Nasdaq tacked on 0.14% for the five-day trading period. Mounting support for Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve has bolstered prospects that the central bank's massive bond-buying program will continue until the economic recovery is on stronger legs.
In company news, Biogen Idec (BIIB - Get Report) cleared a critical road block Friday for European launch of Tecfidera after regulators granted market exclusivity to the multiple sclerosis pill in the region. The biotech firm was the top performer in the S&P as shares soared 13.2% to close at $285.73.
Ross Stores (ROST - Get Report) was the worst performer in the S&P after the company lowered its fourth-quarter forecast for same-store sales to 1% to 2%. Shares of the off-price retailer tumbled 5.7% to $75.67.
In other news, the euro hit a four-year high against the Japanese yen after strong German business sentiment suggested ongoing recovery in Europe's largest economy.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George told a Bank of France conference in Paris that U.S. bank stress tests were a "work in progress" and could be improved by being made more transparent.
-- By Jane Searle and Joe Deaux in New York