U.S. stocks rose on Friday as surging oil prices pushed energy shares higher and fresh economic data suggested key parts of the economy could be stabilizing.
The U.S. factory sector contracted further in April, but at a slower pace, while consumers reported feeling more confident about the economy last month than at any time since September when Lehman Brothers collapsed, paralyzing the global financial system.
Exxon Mobil Corp
The energy stocks, if you can determine the word cheap, are reasonably priced, said Carl Birkelbach, chairman and CEO of Birkelbach Investment Securities in Chicago.
If the economy is going to turn, which is what the market, the Fed and Obama are telling us, then naturally energy prices should go back up again, he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 44.29 points, or 0.54 percent, to 8,212.41 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 4.71 points, or 0.54 percent, to 877.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> edged up 1.90 points, or 0.11 percent, to 1,719.20 points.
For the week, the Dow rose 1.7 percent, the S&P gained 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq ended up 1.5 percent.
The Nasdaq's gains marked the eighth straight weekly advance for the index, it's longest streak since December 1999.
Limiting gains on Wall Street was American Express
Investors worried the delayed stress test results may mean bank balance sheets need even more capital.
The news, which has fixated investors around the world, who are already concerned about the health of the U.S. banking system, will be released late on Thursday afternoon, a government source said.
There's some apprehension about the stress tests next week and the fact that (the results) were pushed back I think is more of a negative sign, said Michael James, a senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles.
McDonald's shares fell 1.7 percent to $52.40.
MasterCard shares were down 5.8 percent at $172.90.
On Nasdaq, the index was led higher by major technology companies such as Apple
Shares of Celgene
The Amex Biotechnology Index <.BTK> slipped 1.6 percent.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos)