NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot past 13,000 Friday after eurozone leaders stepped up their pledges to preserve the single-currency bloc.
A day after ECB President Mario Draghi said he would do "whatever it takes" to hold the eurozone together, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande issued a joint statement declaring their determination to do the same. In addition
reported Draghi plans to meet with Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann in the next few days to discuss ECB bond purchases.
The risk-on euphoria was also boosted by growing chatter about the possibility of the
tipping its hand on additional stimulus measures at next week's policy meeting as well as a solid round of earnings reports and domestic data.
closed up 188 points, or 1.46%, at 13,075.66, its first finish above 13,000 since May 7. At its session peak of 13,117.74, the blue-chip index was within 21 points of its 2012 high. For the week, the Dow gained 1.97%, putting it up 7.02% for the year.
"The words from several European leaders this week suggesting they will do 'whatever it takes' to save the euro and the region's economies has strongly-bolstered risk appetite," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.
Jeffrey Sica, president and chief investment officer of Sica Wealth Management, expressed some skepticism about the rhetoric of Europe's leaders though.
"Central bankers do not have the ability to do
'whatever it take'
to save the euro," he said. "They only have the ability to undermine their credibility by making promises they cannot keep."
Stocks were also being buoyed by consensus-topping blue-chip earnings from
, a U.S. GDP report that included an upward revision and a better-than-expected read on consumer sentiment.
All 30 Dow components finished higher. The biggest percentage gainers were
and Merck; all rising more than 3%.
advanced nearly 26 points, or 1.91%, to close at 1386. The benchmark index surged 1.71% on the week and is now up 10.21% so far in 2012.
jumped 65 points, or 2.24%, to settle at 2958. The tech-heavy index rose 1.11% for the week and is now sitting pretty with a 13.55% year-to-date gain.
The consumer cyclicals, financials and capital goods sectors saw the heaviest buying, although every sector was in the green. Winners outpaced losers by a more than 5-to-1 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange and a 3-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
Aside from the global stimulus hopes, the market also took some solace after the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew by an annual rate of 1.5% in the second quarter following an upwardly revised 2% increase in the first quarter. The advance estimate came in above some expectations and was in line with forecasts provided by economists in a
The growth was attributed to positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment. These factors were partly offset by negative contributions from state and local government spending.
"The pattern of growth does little to alter our view that GDP is poised to rebound back to the 2% area in Q3," said Eric Green, an economist at TD Securities. "That is not a heroic rebound but it is the direction that matters and in Q3 it is up."
report said that the 1.5% annualized rise in GDP shows that the economy has lost a fair amount of momentum but the firm added that the "recent run of data probably hasn't been quite weak enough to prompt the Fed into launching QE3 at next week's policy meeting."
Nathan Janzen, an economist at
, said that while Friday's GDP report confirmed that the pace of growth slowed in the second quarter, a bright spot was continued improvement in residential investment, which has now grown for five consecutive quarters after falling for the better part of the previous six years.
"This suggested that one of the major drags on GDP growth in recent years is easing," said Janzen. "As well, early indications that auto sales remained relatively solid in July suggested that underlying momentum in consumer spending is not as modest as implied by the relatively weak second-quarter 2012 reading."
Meantime, the final July read on the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 72.3, slightly better than the consensus view of 72.
The FTSE in London finished up 0.97% and the DAX in Germany closed up 1.62%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled higher by 2.02% and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 1.46%.
September crude oil futures settled up 74 cents at $90.13 a barrel. August gold futures rose $2.90 to settle at $1,618 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was fell sharply, losing 30/32, raising the yield to 1.548%. The greenback was dipping 0.22%, according to the
On the corporate front,
, the social networking giant, posted an in-line quarterly profit after Thursday's closing bell that failed to impress Wall Street. The company didn't provide an outlook and the stock dropped nearly 12% on the day, hitting new all-time lows for its brief time as a public company.
, the online retailer, delivered mixed second-quarter results after the market closed Thursday. The Seattle-based company reported a profit of $7 million, or 1 cent a share, on revenue of $12.83 billion. The latest results included a net loss of $65 million related to the acquisition and integration of Kiva Systems.
Analysts were expecting second-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $12.88 billion. The stock gained nearly 8% on the day.
shares dropped more than 9% after the coffee chain operator reported below-consensus third-quarter earnings, and fourth quarter and full-year outlook.
shares plunged 61% after the bank holding company posted a 1.5% decline in earnings and worsening margins.
said Friday the U.K.'s financial regulator has started a probe of four current and former senior employees, including the bank's finance chief. The issue involves the "sufficiency of disclosure" in relation to fees paid when Barclays conducted an emergency €7.3 billion capital increase with Middle Eastern investors in 2008, according to
The Wall Street Journal
The U.K. bank last month reached a settlement with U.K. and U.S. regulators after it admitted to trying to manipulate the London interbank offered rate. Barclays also announced first-half profit on Friday that exceeded forecasts, and shares added 9%.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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