The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 45.7 points, or 0.3%, at 12,949, inching closer and closer to the psychological 13,000 threshold. Intel ( INTC), DuPont ( DD) and Merck ( MRK) were among the biggest gainers on the blue-chip index, while Alcoa ( AA), Bank of America ( BAC) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) were the biggest losers. The S&P 500 added 3.2 points, or 0.2%, at 1361. The index has advanced 8.2% year-to-date on increasing optimism about the U.S. economy and the ability of Europe to stem its debt crisis. Financials and utilities were the biggest sector gainers Friday, while technology and basic materials were leading the losses. The Nasdaq lost down 8 points, or 0.3%, at 2951 as large-cap stocks such as Google ( GOOG) and Chinese rival Baidu fell 0.2% and nearly 4%. The CBOE Volatility Index lost 7.2% at 17.82.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks closed mixed Friday as investors showed caution heading into the long holiday weekend with the fate of a second bailout for Greece still uncertain.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
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