Stocks were little changed on Friday, as stronger quarterly earnings from IBM Corp offset disappointing results from bellwether companies like General Electric Co and Bank of America Corp
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International Business Machines Corp was the top performer on the Dow, up 3.6 percent to $114.67 after sharply lifting its full-year earnings outlook and reporting a stronger-than-expected second-quarter profit after the close on Thursday.

But fellow Dow components GE and Bank of America kept a cap on gains as a surge in Bank of America's credit losses, along with an unexpected drop in GE's revenue, curbed recovery optimism after promising earnings and data earlier in the week.

The market today is somewhat yawning because it's already built in -- it's a little anti-climactic given the rally that's occurred, said Matt Kaufler, portfolio manager and equity analyst at Clover Capital Management in Rochester, New York.

All three major U.S. stock indexes are on track for their best week since mid-March. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 are set to snap four-week losing streaks.

GE's profit dropped nearly 50 percent as the slump that burdened its finance and media businesses spread to its industrial units, prompting Chief Executive Jeff Immelt to cut profit views for those parts of the company. The conglomerate's quarterly revenue fell 17 percent.

What's casting a subdued tone over the market is commentary coming out from certain areas, added Kaufler.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 17.98 points, or 0.21 percent, to 8,729.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 1.17 points, or 0.12 percent, to 939.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slipped 0.55 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,884.48.

GE's stock shed 5.3 percent to $11.74 and led the S&P Industrials index <.GSPI> down 1.2 percent to 195.47. The stock was the Dow's top percentage decliner while the industrials index was the worst performer among S&P sectors.

Internet search giant Google Inc fell 3 percent to $429.43 on Nasdaq after a slump in advertising spending took a toll on Google's quarterly revenue growth, overshadowing results that topped Wall Street forecasts.

Elsewhere, Citigroup Inc was flat at $3.03, erasing slight gains made after it announced results, which showed the banking company relied on a gain from its Smith Barney deal with Morgan Stanley to turn a profit.

Helping sentiment was new data that showed U.S. housing starts and building permits jumped more than expected in June, propelled by a surge in single-family home starts.

The S&P 500 climbed as much as 40 percent from its 12-year closing low hit in early March before the run-up stalled in June. But the index has recovered from about a 7 percent loss since June's peak, based on an upbeat start to second-quarter earnings season, and is now up 39 percent from the March low.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)