U.S. stocks rose for a fourth day on Friday with technology gaining on better-than-expected profit from computer maker Dell Inc which signaled stronger business spending, while the broad market was little changed after three days of gains.
As of 2:53 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.43 points, or 0.05 percent to 12,652.65, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.93 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,402.19 and the Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 18.48 points, or 0.74 percent, to 2,526.80.
Dell, the world's second-largest computer maker, gained 7 percent after it topped estimates with a 3.7 percent rise in first-quarter earnings to 38 cents per share. Boosted by exports and its server business, Dell's sales jumped 9.2 percent to $16.08 billion. Shares were recently up $1.42 or 6.5 percent at $23.23.
Tiffany & Co., the world's second- largest luxury-jewelry retailer, beat Wall Street with first-quarter earnings of 50 cents per share, compared to estimates for 40 cents. Shares of Tiffany were recently up 3.5 percent at $49.42.
In economic data, the Commerce Department estimated that personal incomes, consumer spending and consumer prices all rose 0.2 percent in April - which suggests a further weakening of the economy in the second quarter.
The growth was much slower than the 0.4 percent rise in March. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's GDP, which grew just 0.9 percent in the first quarter. Also, personal incomes rose by 0.2 percent last month.
The financial sector received a boost from an unlikely source: struggling insurer AIG. The stock rose more than 3 percent after it was upgraded to overweight from equal weight by Morgan Stanley, according to Thomson Reuters.
In the airline sector, UAL Corp.has halted talks with US Airways Group as United Airlines turns its attention to arranging an alliance with Continental Airline. UAL shares fell 0.1 percent while US Airways shares were down 6.5 percent.