Dow, S&P rise on data, but Google curbs Nasdaq

By @ibtimes on

The Dow and S&P rose on Friday as encouraging economic indicators offset disappointing results from Bank of America Corp , though weakness in Google Inc kept the Nasdaq's advance in check.

A government report showed underlying inflation pressures remained contained in March, while a survey showed April consumer sentiment rose more than expected. Investors have been concerned that higher energy and food costs would slow consumer spending.

I'm surprised the market is holding up so well, given Google and Bank of America. But everyone is happy with the consumer price number, said Randall Warren, chief investment officer of Warren Financial Service in Exton, Pennsylvania.

People were afraid that inflation could derail the bull market, and this data puts that story on hold.

Bank of America reported a steeper-than-expected decline of 37.5 percent in profit and named a new chief financial officer. The stock fell 0.8 percent to $13.02 and was the Dow's bigger percentage loser.

Google late on Thursday unnerved investors with a large jump in first-quarter spending. The Internet company also reported an adjusted profit slightly under expectations. The stock sank 6.6 percent to $540.59.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 40.52 points, or 0.33 percent, at 12,325.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 4.88 points, or 0.37 percent, at 1,319.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 2.62 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,762.84.

The first week of earnings has been mixed, with bellwether companies unable to excite the market despite some cases of stronger-than-expected profits. Investors have been disappointed with companies' revenues or outlooks.

If this theme of discouraging reports continues, I'll become more bearish on the season. But right now, it could go either way, and it looks like the market wants to go up, Warren said.

Charles Schwab Corp reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations by a penny. The broker also said clients had reduced the percentage of their cash assets held in Schwab to pre-crisis levels. The stock rose 2.8 percent to $18.73.

Assured Guaranty Ltd surged 30 percent to $18.42 on heavy volume after the company announced a settlement agreement with Bank of America on mortgage repurchase claims. Among other companies in the sector, MBIA Inc climbed 20.6 percent to $10.77 and PMI Group was up 4.1 percent to $2.27, both on heavy volume.

An index of New York State manufacturing rose in April to its highest level in a year, and the state employment index jumped to its highest since May 2004, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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