US stocks rose for the third consecutive session as investors shook off global fears and focused instead on upbeat earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 50.03 points, or 0.41 percent, to end at 12,220.59. The S&P 500 index climbed 4.14 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 1,313.80. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.24 percent.
Economic data was positive on Friday as final fourth quarter 2010 GDP was upwardly revised to 3.1 percent from 2.8 percent. For the week, however, data was disappointing as new home sales, existing home sales, and durable goods orders were sharply below expectations.
Meanwhile, global uncertainties loom: radiation scares from Japan remain, the conflict in the Middle East/North Africa rages on (oil futures remain elevated at $105 per barrel), and investors continue to shun Portuguese sovereign debt.
Nevertheless, the sell-off triggered by Japan’s earthquake two weeks ago may be overdone as investors continue to scoop up bargains.
Moreover, corporate earnings continue to impress market participants. The latest companies to report good results were Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) (up 1.56 percent) and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) (up 4.48 percent).
US and international corporations continue to do well as they benefit from robust business spending, the strong recovery in emerging market economies, and gradual improvement in developed economies.