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Stocks Finish Higher but Close Week With Losses

Stocks end higher Friday after Congress passes an aid package to help fund small businesses. Tech stocks give markets a boost.

Stocks finished higher Friday as Congress passed an aid package to help fund small businesses and gains in tech stocks boosted markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 260 points, or 1.11%, to 23,775, the S&P 500 rose 1.39% and the Nasdaq was up 1.65%. 

Home Depot HD, Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report and IBM  (IBM) - Get Free Report led the Dow's advance. 

Stocks closed out the week with losses after rising for two weeks in a row. The Dow was down 2.5% for the week, the S&P was off over 1%, and the Nasdaq eased 0.8%.

The House of Representatives passed a $484 billion bill Thursday to help replenish a key fund to help small businesses maintain their payrolls during the coronavirus crisis.

The House voted 388-5 to clear the measure, which passed the Senate earlier this week. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Friday.

Consumer sentiment declined in April for the third straight month, according to data released Friday by the University of Michigan.

The index fell to 71.8 in April from 89.1 in March. The data come as no surprise after a Labor Department report showed another 4.4 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, with the five-week total rising to 26 million. 

April's reading was the lowest since 2011 but higher than economists' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“The recent price action in global markets has highlighted the fragility of the risk rally in the face of deteriorating global economic data and weak commodity prices,” wrote Valentin Marinov, a managing director at Credit Agricole CIB in London, in a note to clients. 

He added that “the recent global monetary and fiscal stimulus measures have put a ‘floor’ under the risky assets."

Oil prices were higher for a third consecutive day.

Verizon Communications  (VZ) - Get Free Report reported first-quarter profit that topped expectations but pulled its full-year sales guidance after what it called a "significant" decline in customer activity linked to the pandemic.

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American Express  (AXP) - Get Free Report, the credit card and travel services giant, reported first-quarter adjusted profit that beat Wall Street expectations. But it set aside $2.6 billion to cover bad loans and card defaults amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Intel  (INTC) - Get Free Report, the giant chipmaker, reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that easily topped expectations but warned that second-quarter earnings would miss projections.