It was tough to make heads or tails of markets Friday with the Dow swinging as much as 800 points over the course of the volatile session. 

The Dow finished the session well in the green, though it did sell into the close Friday. The blue-chip index ended the day up 1.4%, or 334 points, to 24,194 while the Nasdaq gained 1.44%, or 97 points, to 6,874 and the S&P 500 rose 1.5%, or 39 points, to 2,620.

Here are the three stories investors were paying attention to Friday.

Dividend Roundup

TheStreet's brightest compiled a list of companies with the strongest dividend growth prospects

Stock Buying Alternative

Tired of losing money in the markets, TheStreet has alternatives for you.

Defense Stocks Rise on U.S. Budget Deal

A 12-hour deal to keep the government funded acted as a tailwind for defense stocks