The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 climbed to session highs on Friday, with investors encouraged by a consumer survey that added to hopes that the U.S. economy may be stabilizing and fueled expectations for more upbeat first-quarter corporate results.

The Nasdaq cut earlier losses to trade near break-even as investors snapped up shares of iPod and iPhone maker Apple ahead of the tech bellwether's results next week.

Reassuring results from Citigroup and General Electric added to the positive tone, though other investors opted to pause following a strong run-up from 12-year closing lows set in early March, curbing some of the upside.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 28.28 points, or 0.35 percent, to 8,153.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.27 points, or 0.61 percent, to 870.57. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 2.08 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,668.36.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)