U.S. stocks rose 3 percent for the week after ending Friday's session slightly higher, shrugging off government data showing the unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent -- the highest in 26-1/2 years.
General Electric Co
In a choppy session Friday, the market fell at the open and briefly turned positive after closer inspection of the report showed payroll losses kept declining and job losses for earlier months were revised lower.
Big-cap stocks are the ones with leverage issues, but they seem to have picked up a lot of interest from investors of late, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
We're certainly seeing continued evidence of economic improvement -- except on the employment side -- but even there, perhaps we may have seen about the worst.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 17.46 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 10,023.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.67 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,069.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 7.12 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,112.44.
For the week, both the Dow and the S&P 500 rose 3.2 percent, while the Nasdaq climbed 3.3 percent.
Bernstein Research and Oppenheimer upgraded their ratings on GE to outperform as they believe there will be major divestitures over the next two to three years. They also see a favorable entry point after the stock underperformed since the middle of October.
Travelers Cos Inc
The KBW Insurance index <.KIX> added 1 percent.
But bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc
JP Morgan boosted Macy's Inc
The S&P Retail index <.RLX> advanced 1.7 percent.
Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.08 billion shares changing hands, below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on the Nasdaq, about 1.84 billion shares traded, shy of last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks slightly outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 15 to 14.
On the Nasdaq, though, the trend was reversed, with seven stocks falling for every six that rose.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)