NEW YORK (
) -- Stocks ran in place Friday, lacking direction in the absence of any new economic news. Although earnings reports continued to beat expectations, investors saw little reason to act during the sluggish session.
The major indices locked in marginal weekly gains, marking the third consecutive week that the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
has advanced. During Friday's session, the Dow lost 14 points, or 0.1%, to 11,133 but gained 0.6% on the week. The
closed 3 points higher at 1183 and also saw a weekly increase of 0.6%. Meanwhile, strength across the tech sector helped the
finish 20 points, or 0.8% higher at 2479 with a weekly gain of 0.4%.
Despite better-than-expected results from
late Thursday, the stock remained the Dow's worst-performer throughout the session followed by Verizon and
had the strongest gains of the day.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the
Group of 20 major and emerging economies meet are meeting in South Korea on Friday and Saturday to debate currency valuations ahead of November's G-20 summit in Seoul. According to a
report, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saw little support for his proposal that countries limit account imbalances to 4% of gross domestic product. The measure was designed to compel China to strengthen its currency.
Overseas on Friday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% while Japan's Nikkei added 0.5%. The FTSE in London inched 0.3% lower and the DAX in Frankfurt shed 0.08%.
Meanwhile, France's upper house of Parliament voted in favor of raising the retirement despite the rash of protests and strikes that erupted in response to the bill.
With no economic data scheduled for release on Friday, the market had little to trade off of outside of earnings news.
Earlier, Mike Shea, managing partner at Direct Access Partners said, "It's another one of those quiet Fridays." He noted that volume in the first hour of trading was down 26% from the previous session when trading volumes didn't pick up until later in the morning.
"I think something like 85% of all companies that have reported have met or exceeded expectations -- you'd have to think that a lot of that is already baked into the market," he said, adding that recent technical research suggests that the market is a little stretched. "This weekend, we have some global/macro issues and then it's Election Day with the Fed meeting the next day. That's really what the market is looking to, and it can't come here fast enough."
said net income fell 18% to $499 million, or 64 cents a share, on revenue of $8.39 billion. But the company beat analysts' expectations for a profit of 62 cents on revenue of $8.22 billion. Shares gained 1.3% to $47.26.
topped estimates by 2 cents with adjusted earnings of 56 cents a share on sales of $26.5 billion. The stock slipped 1.3% to $32.09.
rose 1% to $39.35 as the company reported adjusted earnings of 80 cents a share on revenue of $3.73 billion. Analysts had expected a third-quarter profit of 79 cents a share on sales of $3.73 billion.
reported an adjusted profit of 70 cents a share on sales that rose 26% to $6.85 billion, which was slightly better than expected. Shares rose 5.4% to $67.77.
more than tripled its second-quarter profit, easily surpassing analysts' expectations for earnings of 3 cents a share with a profit of 19 cents a share. The stock slipped 0.5% to $8.30.
Financial services holding company
T. Rowe Price
said earnings rose to 64 cents a share, topping estimates by 4 cents. Revenue increased to $586.1 million, from $498.1 million a year ago. The stock gained 4.2% to $54.89.
topped profit estimates by a nickel and reported revenue that was roughly a million dollars above expectations. The stock jumped 22.7% to $37.42.
In non-earnings news,
agreed to buy German engine manufacturer
for €580 million ($807.2 million). Caterpillar's stock traded 0.7% lower to $78.33.
added 1% to $23.59 despite an upgrade to buy at Oppenheimer.
In commodity markets, the December crude oil contract gained $1.1 to settle at $81.69 a barrel. Meanwhile, the December gold contract shed 50 cents to settle at $1,325.10 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the dollar traded lower against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.02%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 6/32, increasing the yield to 2.561%.
--Written by Melinda Peer in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.