Despite easing from morning highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 54.49 points from the opening, or 0.46 percent, while the S&P 500 Index is up 4.53 points or 0.35 percent. The Nasdaq Index, which was up 67.77 points early on Friday morning, is now down 6.37 points, or 0.24 percent as Web giant Google dipped slightly.
Exxon Mobil Inc. (NYSE:XOM) is up 1.52 percent, despite the fact that Crude for March Delivery, the benchmark for oil future contracts, fell by 15 cents to $89.37 per barrel, as traders waited for more clues on the state of the global economy. Traders are also anxious about next week's announcement of the U.S. Consumer Confidence Survey, which could determine if oil exceeds $100 per barrel in the coming months. For the week, the cost of a barrel of oil has dropped by about two percent.
General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE) shares are still buoyant from its fourth-quarter results which saw quarterly profits grow by 52 percent, which was well past analyst estimates.
Financial stocks showed mixed results amid strong earnings announcements by some coupled with forecasts of continued slow economic growth and limited demand for commercial real estate lending.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is still down 1.24 percent to $14.36 per share after posting a $1.2 billion net loss, which included a $2 billion goodwill and impairment charge in its home loans and insurance units.
Despite BofA's dip, the financial sector did is posting strong results, led by SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI), whose stock had increased 5.85 percent to $29.50 per share, after posting a better-than-expected profit of $0.23 per share in the fourth quarter.
BB&T (NYSE: BBT) has jumped 4.6 percent to 28.33 after posting earnings of $0.30 per share in the fourth quarter, up from $0.27 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009.
City National Corp. (NYSE: CYN) shares declined 4.2 percent despite posting earnings of $0.36 per share for the fourth quarter from $0.38 per share in the fourth quarter of 2009. According to a FactSet survey, analysts were expecting a profit of $0.72 per share.