U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 at its highest level since the week Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, breaching technical levels that suggest the year-end rally will persist.

Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 40.26 points, or 0.35 percent, to end unofficially at 11,410.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.40 points, or 0.60 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,240.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 20.87 points, or 0.80 percent, to close unofficiallya t 2,637.54.

For the week, the indexes also posted gains. The Dow was up 0.2 percent, the S&P 500 was up 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq was up 1.8 percent.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)