NEW YORK (
) -- Stocks began October with modest gains on Friday as investors took their cue from heartening data on the health of the consumer.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 41 points, or 0.4%, to 10,829. The
added 5 points, or 0.4%, to 1146 and the
ended ahead by 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2370.
Energy stocks led the markets higher as crude oil prices rose to as high as $81 a barrel on Friday, fueled by a weaker dollar. Shares of
were up 1.2% and 1.1% respectively at $62.52 and $81.94.
surged 3.2% to $80.78.
Tech and capital goods sectors were among the underperformers. Among the Dow components,
Bank of America
outperformed the blue-chip index while
was the biggest loser.
Investors had a lot to digest this morning as a series of economic reports provided a mixed outlook on the economy.
The Commerce Department said early Friday that
personal incomes rose 0.5% in August , up from an increase of 0.2% previously while personal spending gained 0.4% in August compared with similar growth in July. Economists had been expecting personal incomes to increase by 0.3%, and personal spending was slated to inch 0.3% higher, according to Briefing.com.
Institute for Supply Management's survey of purchasing managers index fell to 54.4 in September from August's level of 56.3. The figure also missed analysts' expectations for a September reading of 54.8, according to Briefing.com.
Construction spending , meanwhile, grew 0.4% in August, exceeding expectations for a decline of 0.7%, and turning positive after dropping 1.4% in July.
And in its final read on
September consumer sentiment , the University of Michigan said its index fell to 68.2, exceeding expectations for a reading of 67 but falling from August's reading of 68.9.
"It still looks like we have a "government aided" recovery, evident in today's numbers," economists at PNC wrote in their report, noting that the increase in personal income was partly aided by the boost to unemployment benefits. Construction spending too was boosted by government funded projects, the report said.
The market also took note of comments by
William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who called current economic conditions "unsatisfactory" and said
further stimulus measures by the
In other market news, the
Securities and Exchange Commission
released the preliminary findings of its "flash crash" investigation, with a
single trade becoming the focus of its investigation.
global markets responded to news that Chinese industrial production expanded at a strong pace, mitigating a disappointing read on Europe's purchasing managers' index, which fell in September.
Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was closed for a national holiday, and Japan's Nikkei inched 0.4% higher. The FTSE in London gained 0.8%, while the DAX in Frankfurt lost 0.3%.
In other news,
President Obama announced the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel , who would be running for the office of Mayor of Chicago. He will be replaced by senior adviser Pete Rouse.
In company news,
Sirius XM Radio
saw shares rise 3.3% to $1.24 after it said it expects to end 2010 with 20.1 million subscribers.
jumped 20% higher to $49.86 on a
Wall Street Journal
report that the company is exploring the possibility of itself to private investors.
PNC Financial Services
were among some of the banks hacked in an international cybercrime identity theft attack, according to the
. Their stocks were up 1.9% to $38.81, and 1.7% to $52.84, respectively.
shed 3.1% to $40.77 after the company named Leo Apotheker its new CEO on Thursday. Apotheker's previous experience includes 20 years at software company
Spanish oil and gas company
and China-based oil company
formed a Brazil joint venture worth $17.8 billion. Shares of Sinopec listed on the
New York Stock Exchange
added 0.8% to $89.94. Repsol gained 6.7% to $27.47
rose 0.2% to $12.26 after it reported a 46% increase in sales for September.
was down 4% to $22.54 on a cautious outlook from brokerage Wedbush Morgan
The November crude oil contract added $2.1 to settle at $79.97 a barrel, after rising past $80 a barrel.
Elsewhere in commodity markets, the December gold contract settled higher by $8.20, at $1,317.80 an ounce.
The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.8%, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was weakening 1/32, lifting the yield to 2.513.
--Written by Melinda Peer and Shanthi Venkataraman in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.