Stocks Ended Up on Earnings, Fell for the Week

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday as earnings and merger activity overshadowed worries about the U.S. debt situation. However,they dropped more than 1% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 42.61 points, or 0.34%, to 12,479.73. The S&P 500 gained 7.27 points, or 0.56%, to 1,316.14. The Nasdaq Composite added 27.13 points, or 0.98%, to 2,789.80. For the week, the Dow lost 1.4%, the S&P 500 fell 2.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.5%.

Standard & Poor’s on Friday raised the pressure on Washington debt negotiators, saying it could downgrade insurers, securities clearinghouses, mortgage agencies and a laundry list of other firms if there is not a deal soon to lift the debt ceiling and cut the deficit.

Apple Inc. is expected to post its usual strong double-digit earnings growth when it reports results for the June quarter next week, though Wall Street says the company is setting itself up for an even stronger performance in the latter half of the year.

Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton is leaving the company in the wake of the PhoneGate hacking scandal. Hinton is the second high-ranking News Corp. executive to step down today, and the first major figure from the company’s American operations.

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