Updated from 4:43 p.m. EDTStocks in New York closed 1% to 2% higher, although off their best levels of the session Friday, after the U.S. government released the parameters for the so-called stress tests being conducted on the nation's large banks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119.23 points, or 1.5%, to 8076.29, while the S&P 500 climbed 14.31 points, or 1.7%, to 866.23. The Nasdaq gained 42.08 points, or 2.6%, to 1694.29. For the week, the Dow lost 0.7%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.4%. That meant an end to six-week winning streaks for both. The Nasdaq, however, advanced 1.3%. In a 21-page report, the Federal Reserve shared the process used for the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program, or stress test.
Microsoft ( MSFT), American Express ( AXP) and Amazon.com ( AMZN) were among the winners after reporting quarterly results following the previous session. Those stocks rose 10.5%, 20.7% and 4.8%, respectively. "From a technical perspective, you don't have markets that become overbought and stay overbought for extended periods of time during bear markets," says Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist Cantor Fitzgerald. "It's a characteristic of a bull market. If you're a bear, you can find reasons to be negative about things, looking at those overbought indicators, but if you believe we've seen the bottom, a situation like this could persist for an extended period." Ford ( F) shares surged 11.4% to $5 on the strength of a narrower-than-expected loss and a promising outlook. Xerox ( XRX) rose 3.7% to $5.95 after the company turned a first-quarter profit . However, it did rein in its guidance. More economic clues, in the form of durable goods orders and new home sales, were also on Friday's agenda. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders, which are considered a leading indicator of manufacturing activity, declined 0.8% in March, or 0.6% ex-autos, after breaking a string of declines in February. Expectations, however, were for declines nearly double that. A separate report showed that new homes sold at a 356,000 pace in March, ahead of the consensus estimate for a rate of closer to 340,000, but down from an upwardly revised number in February. Longer-dated Treasuries were recently falling. The 10-year was losing 18/32 to yield 3%, and the 30-year was down 1-12/32, yielding 3.9%. The dollar was mixed. As for commodities, oil rose $1.93 to settle at $51.55 a barrel, while gold was up $7.50 to $914.10 an ounce after reports that China has been increasing its gold reserves in recent years.