NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - U.S. stocks finished Friday on a positive note as strength in the energy sector offset news that new home sales dropped in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.59 points, or 0.27%, Friday to 13,080.73. The S&P 500 increased 4.33 points to 1,397.11 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 4.6 points to 3,067.92. Breadth within the Dow was positive with 19 of the index's 30 components posting gains. The biggest gainers in the index were Bank of America ( BAC), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) and Caterpillar ( CAT).
Shares of HP rose 2.61% to $23.63. The technology company announced Friday that Marc Levine was named senior vice president and controller, effective May 1. He was previously senior vice president of finance at HP Enterprise Services. Earlier this week, HP said it was merging its PC and printer divisions. TheStreet Ratings gives HP a C+ grade and hold rating. Bank of America shares rose 2.6% to $9.85. The bank was one of four that was downgraded by Evercore analysts on Friday. TheStreet Ratings gives Bank of America a C- grade with a hold rating. Shares of Caterpillar gained 1.32% to $107.83. TheStreet Ratings gives Caterpillar an A grade with a buy rating and a $131.03 price target. The biggest percentage decliners in the index included AT&T ( T), General Electric ( GE) and Verizon ( VZ). The stocks all posted declines of less than 1%. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.