Banks, Biotechs Helped Push Indices Higher

Blue-chips and tech stocks gain ground on the last trading day of the third quarter.
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Updated from 2:45 p.m. EDT

Stocks closed higher Friday afternoon, with blue-chips and tech stocks finishing stronger on the last trading day of the third quarter.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 165.72 points, or 1.9%, to 8847.14, while the

Nasdaq

was up 37.85 points, or 2.6%, to 1498.56. The

S&P 500

tacked on 20.97 points, or 2.2%, at 1039.58. Among sectors, chips, biotechs, banks, cyclicals and Internet stocks rose.

Banks were a standout sector this week, with the Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index gaining 80 points over five sessions to close Friday at 792. Among the major names,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

gained 1.5% Friday to $40.50,

J.P. Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

added 3% to $35.15, and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

gained 2.6% to $58.40.

Investors digested the latest revision to

GDP, which showed the U.S. economy expanded by 0.3% in the second quarter, up from the earlier estimate of 0.2%. In corporate news,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

is reportedly close to entering a confidentiality agreement with

Comcast

(CMCSK)

over the sale of its broadband unit. AT&T was up 69 cents, or 3.7%, to $19.39, and Comcast gained 32 cents, or 0.9%, to $35.62.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was up about 1.9% to 4856, while the CAC 40 in Paris was up 1.7% to 4080. Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.8% at 9775, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shot up 3.6% to 9951.

Electronics giant

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

said overnight that results for its current fiscal year will be worse than expected. The company expects to post operating income of $1 billion, down from a previous forecast of $2.1 billion, on dwindling demand in the U.S. and restructuring charges. Sony fell $3.89, or 10.5%, to $33.30. Meanwhile

Eaton

(ETN) - Get Report

said third-quarter earnings will fall short of expectations because of lower industrial demand in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Eaton lost 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $59.20.

While OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna formally agreed to leave production levels unchanged, a comment by Kuwait's representative was boosting the price of crude. The official said OPEC would probably cut output if the price of oil remained below a target range, sending the price of Brent crude up 54 cents, or 2.4%, to $23.33 a barrel in London.

The 10-year Treasury note was recently off 11/32 to 103 8/32, yielding 4.59%.