Stocks eased slightly on Friday, but for the second day in a row major indexes bounced off session lows, this time on a positive report on Midwest manufacturing activity.
Stocks were down by 1 percent after the release of data showing economic growth slowed in the second quarter, but a separate report showed business activity in the Midwest grew more than expected this month.
The S&P 500 has found support in the 1088 to 1090 range as economic data have come in mixed but earnings have shown strength.
The economic data we have today has provided additional confidence that at least a tepid pace of growth will continue, said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management in Paramus, New Jersey. Investors are grabbing onto that and buying into values that are extremely cheap right now.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 14.15 points, or 0.14 percent, at 10,481.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 0.99 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,102.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 3.32 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,255.01.
Chevron Corp , the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported a three-fold jump in quarterly profit, topping Wall Street forecasts, but its shares were down 0.7 percent at $75.48.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer showed businesses boosted employment and orders.
In the Commerce Department's first estimate of economic growth for the second quarter, U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.4 percent annual rate, driven by capital investment, but the expansion was down from the first quarter's revised 3.7 percent rise.
People continue to run around with the double-dip flag, but it's becoming recognized and more obvious as time passes that the economy continues to grow at a slow rate, Lieberman said.
The PHLX Semiconductor index <.SOXX> was down 1 percent after slumping on Thursday on slashed outlooks from technology companies Nvidia Corp and Symantec Corp .
U.S. consumer sentiment plunged in July to its lowest level since November 2009 on bleak prospects for jobs and income a year since the economic recovery began, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers.
U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co reported a profit that beat analysts' estimates, but its sales were less than Wall Street's expectations, and the stock fell 2.1 percent to $34.31.
(Reporting by Matthew Lynley; Editing by Kenneth Barry)