Stocks opened nearly flat on Friday, but the Dow was on track to post its ninth straight week of gains as data showed the economic expansion gathered speed in the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 8.02 points, or 0.07 percent, at 11,997.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 1.20 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,300.74.

The Nasdaq 100 tracking exchange-traded fund was down 0.03 percent at 57.16.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch)