Updated from 4:06 p.m. EDT

Stocks closed higher Friday as strong earnings from Microsoft ( MSFT) and other tech names boosted the Nasdaq, while the broader market continued to play out the struggle between positive quarterly reports and inflationary economic data.

The Nasdaq finished up 16.86 points, or 0.8%, to close at 2049.77 -- its highest level in about 10 days -- to complete its third winning week in the last four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 11.64 points higher, or 0.1%, to 10,472.84, while the S&P 500 was up a point at 1140.60.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 1.4 billion shares, while 1.9 billion shares traded hands on the Nasdaq. Losers beat winners on both indices.

Microsoft Leads the Way

Shares of Microsoft propped up both indices, with about 257 million shares moving on the day -- it's highest level in more than three years. Microsoft closed up $1.59, or 6.1%, at $27.54.

Late Thursday, the software giant said third-quarter earnings fell due to a legal charge, but excluding the charge earnings came in 5 cents ahead of estimates. A 17% jump in revenue to $9.18 billion was also well ahead of expectations.

Overall, decliners equaled advancers on the Nasdaq, while the percentage of up volume beat down volume also by a margin of about 2 to 1.

One hundred-sixteen stocks on the Nasdaq hit new highs in the session, compared with 19 new lows. On the NYSE, there were 158 new lows, compared with 105 new highs.

Tech prices held their ground even after the Commerce Department said durable-goods orders rose 3.4% in March, far exceeding market expectations for a 0.7% gain. The increase was paced by orders for cars and business equipment, and follows a 3.8% jump in February orders. Excluding transportation equipment, the increase was 3.3%, the highest rate in almost two years.

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