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Stock Market Today: Markets Shrug Off Escalating Geopolitical Conflict to Close Higher

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets closed the session and the week higher Friday as investors piled into equities after Thursday's pullback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.73% to 17,100.18. The S&P 500 was up 1% to 1,978.22. The Nasdaq was up 1.6% to 4,432.15.

Benchmark stock indices slid into the close Thursday after the markets were rattled by news that a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

European and Asian markets closed mixed, with the CAC 40 the biggest gainer and the Nikkei the biggest loser.

July 18 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Stock Market Today: Downed Jet in Ukraine, Escalating Conflict Rattle U.S. Markets

European Markets are Spooked by Ukraine and Gaza, but AbbVie Gets Shire Deal

Markets remain on alert on escalating conflict along the Ukrainian border. In a public address, President Obama said a surface-to-air missile was responsible for the plane crash and that it originated from territory controlled by separatists. Russia has previously been accused of being lax in the flow of arms across the border.

Adding to market stressors is Israel's launch of a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli troops and heavy equipment have been rolling across the border with the aim of destroying Hamas infrastructure.

Stateside, U.S. consumer sentiment saw a slight dip in early July, the Michigan consumer sentiment index demonstrated, falling to 81.3 from June's 82.5.

Capping off a week of big merger news, U.S. drugmaker AbbVie (ABBV) reached a deal to buy Irish pharmaceutical firm Shire (SHPG) for almost $55 billion. AbbVie was up 2.6% to $54.91, while Shire climbed 1.4% to $257.06.

General Electric  (GE) moved 0.56% lower after reporting on Friday second-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $36.2 billion. The company also said it expects an IPO of its retail finance division, to be called Synchrony Financial, by the end of July.

IBM  (IBM) said second-quarter profit rose 28% and topped analysts' expectations. Shares were flat at $192.50.

Apple  (AAPL) shares were up 1.4% to $94.43 as it appointed Susan Wagner, a founding partner of money manager BlackRock, as a director, replacing Bill Campbell, who sat on the board of the iPhone maker for 17 years.

Amazon  (AMZN) shares were also gaining ground after the online retail giant introduced "Kindle Unlimited" on any device for $9.99 a month. The stock added 1.8% to $358.66.

Stocks to watch Monday include Chipotle (CMG), Halliburton (HAL), Hasbro (HAS) and Netflix (NFLX), all of which are due to report earnings. 

--Written by Andrea Tse and Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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