Updated from 12:50 p.m. EDT

The Dow Climbs Again

( At 5:40 p.m. EDT)

Another week in the books, another gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Not by much, only 0.6%, but it counts. That's the sixth one in a row, and during that time, the index is up 22.7%.

For Friday's session, the Dow rose 5.90 points, or 0.1%, to 8131.33, its third consecutive daily advance. Losers actually outpaced winners 16 to 14. American Express ( AXP) had the best percentage gain, up 5.4% to $21.81, while Citigroup ( C) fell the furthest, down 9% to $3.65.

Based on their point contributions, McDonald's ( MCD) and Procter & Gamble ( PG) were most responsible for the increase. 3M ( MMM) and Exxon Mobil ( XOM) were the biggest drags.

Enjoy the weekend, because next week will see a flood of earnings, several of them from Dow components. Bank of America ( BAC) will start things off Monday.

Asleep on Wall Street

( At 12:35 p.m. EDT)

Just isn't getting any easier for Fritz Henderson. The new CEO of General Motors ( GM) now says a bankruptcy filing for the automaker is "probable," even though it's not the preferred option. The company's got until June 1 to figure it out.

The previous acts had all the drama, I suppose. This once-proud icon of American industry is looking at a potential Chapter 11 in a matter of weeks. No big deal, right?

Sure wasn't having much of an effect on the stock. Volume's not overly heavy. Recently, GM was down 1 cent at $1.93, its session low. Thus far today it's traded as high as $2.03. A lack of surprise tends to do this, which is to say, not a lot.

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As for the other big news makers of the day, General Electric ( GE) and Citigroup ( C), they were mixed. The bank, Citi I mean, was down 10 cents at $3.91. The basically bank, GE, was up 8 cents at $12.35.

The Dow itself has been muted, trading between 8087 and 8159. Lately it was down 8 points, or 0.1%, at 8117. Talk about a stalemate -- 15 stocks were up, and 15 were down.

Meanwhile, the moves for the individual issues were about as notable as the total index. Bank of America ( BAC) was the leading percentage gainer, up 4.4% at $10.79, while Microsoft ( MSFT) had the most pronounced decline, off 2.8% to $19.20.

This Is Much Better

( At 8:58 a.m. EDT)

Citigroup ( C) and General Electric ( GE) were both trading up slightly, the former by 1% and the latter by half that, after the Dow components topped analysts' estimates for their most recent quarters Friday.

You would almost think nothing else was going on. I mean it's all over this site. What about that thing where the Cleveland Indians came to town Thursday and opened the new Yankee Stadium by thrashing the Bronx Bombers? Isn't Octomom doing something interesting? I don't know what the heck's happened to our priorities.

Fine, you want to stick to the facts. You don't like the straying from the very serious happenings in the stock market. Fine.

So, as mentioned, GE and Citi. Not everything was perfect. We have been having that minor problem with the recession and the devastation in the financial services sector for a little while, you know.

I'm going to view this positively. I would rather see better than expected results than shortfalls. Awful of me. You don't want to believe, that's up to you.

Just remember that regardless of what happens with GE and Citi during the trading day, they no longer have the ability to push around the industrials overall too much. When you're low-priced, you don't have as much influence on the index in either direction.

They certainly can still affect sentiment, so it's not as if their moves are irrelevant, but in isolation their impact is modest at best. IBM ( IBM), Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Chevron ( CVX). Now those are power players.

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