Dow, S&P 500 Eke Out Gain for Week


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages soared Friday as investors cheered in-line China gross domestic product data, a mild read on domestic inflation and a better-than-expected earnings report from JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).

A weaker-than-expected initial read on consumer sentiment in July was getting short shrift as traders bid up the broad market for the first time in more than a week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 204 points, or 1.62%, to close at 12,777. The blue-chip index snapped a six-day losing streak and managed to finish the week with a 0.04% gain. Year-to-date, the Dow is now up 4.6%.

Breadth was extremely positive within the Dow with 29 of the index's 30 components on the rise, led by a nearly 6% jump for JPMorgan, which easily topped Wall Street's profit view for its fiscal second quarter despite absorbing a $4.4 billion loss from its previously disclosed bad credit derivatives trade.

Other top performers among the blue chips included Bank of America ( BAC), Caterpillar ( IBM), Microsoft ( MSFT) and United Technologies ( UTX).

The only decliner in the Dow was Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), which fell 2%.

The S&P 500 leapt 22 points, or 1.65%, to settle at 1357, snapping its own six-session losing streak. The S&P 500 closed the week up 0.17% and now sports a 7.9% advance for 2012.

The Nasdaq, which ended a five-day skid, surged 42 points, or 1.48%, to close at 2908. The tech-heavy index lost 1% for the week and is now up 11.6% year-to-date.

Conglomerates, financials, transportation and capital goods were the strongest sectors in the broad market. The KBW Bank Index jumped 3.3%. A solid report from Wells Fargo ( WFC) was also a factor. The San Francisco-based bank reported second-quarter earnings of 82 cents a share on revenue of $21.29 billion, beating the average analysts' profit estimate by a penny. The stock gained 3%.

In global economic news, China's National Bureau of Statistics said the country's economic growth fell to 7.6% in the second quarter year-over-year, the slowest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2009 and marking the sixth straight quarter of declines, which was as expected. Capital spending and domestic consumption helped promote growth but exports weighed down the overall figure.

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