Updated from 4:24 p.m. EDT
Stocks in New York edged higher Friday and closed just above the flat line as investors dissected quarterly reports from
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 5.90 points, or 0.07%, to 8131.33, while the
gained 4.30 points, or 0.5%, to 869.60. The
added 2.63 points, or 0.2%, to 1673.07.
For the week, the Dow gained 0.6%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.5%, and the Nasdaq added 1.2%, marking the sixth consecutive week of advances.
Technology stocks and
, for which
according to its CEO, were among the biggest drags on
Citi was the worst, losing almost 9% to $3.65, while
was the strongest performer, rising 5.4% to $21.81.
The S&P 500 financial services index was up 17% for March, says Anu Sharma, managing director of the Market Intelligence Desk at Nasdaq OMX, but at the same time short interest on that index increased 58%.
"The money going into it wasn't short covering, it was real money," says Sharma. "So you're seeing two drastically different sentiments set up, and there's a big bet one way or the other. What will be interesting is if the longs are right and this huge short position taken in March has to be covered, which could propel financial services even more."
All of the major banks that have reported or offered preliminarily looks at their results thus far --
, JP Morgan and Citi -- have surpassed expectations, but Wall Street wasn't expecting much.
For its part,
reported a narrower-than-expected loss of 18 cents a share. The loss came after the bank converted preferred stock issued last year into common shares.
Bank of America
will be the next big bank to report its results on Monday.
also topped estimates despite a 9% decline in sales and a 35% drop in earnings from continuing operations. The company's financing unit, GE Capital, benefited from a $1.2 billion tax break that offset a $153 million pretax loss. Shares rose 1% to $12.39.
beat estimates, as well, but it also reported its first ever sequential quarterly sales decline. Shares climbed 0.9% to $392.24.
A peppering of better-than-expected results haven't put a lid on prospective job losses, however. Most recently, after posting a first-quarter loss,
said that it will cut 2,000 jobs. Those stocks were up 4.7% and 1.8%, respectively.
Earlier in the week, Swiss banking giant
by 8,700 in 2010, and media reports said
is readying itself for a significant round of
, as well.
One stock on the move,
jumped 29.2% to $7.17 a day after it completed a $500 million equity
. Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to outperform from perform on Friday on the premise that it won't see much more dilution after the offering.
Taking a look at commodities, oil rose 35 cents to settle at $50.98 a barrel, while gold fell $11.90 to $867.90 an ounce.
Longer-dated Treasuries were dropping. The 10-year was giving up 31/32 to yield 3%, while the 30-year was losing 1-13/32, yielding 3.8%. The dollar was stronger vs. the pound and euro, but weaker against the yen.
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