Stocks Ended Mixed on Economy Hope

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday as a gauge of leading economic indicators climbed, stoking hopes about the U.S. economy, but concerns about the euro zone continued to dog

markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25.43 points, or 0.22%, to end the day at 11,796.16. It posted weekly losses of 2.9%. The S&P declined 0.48 point at

1,215.65, notching weekly losses of 3.8%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 15.49  points lower, or 0.60%, at 2,572.50. On the week, the Nasdaq declined 4%.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators rose more than Wall Street analysts were expecting, a sign that the economy may pick up in the coming months.

A bill that would have added a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution failed in the House on Friday, in a fresh example of the pre-election partisan divide over

fiscal issues in Congress. House lawmakers rejected the amendment on a vote of 261-165. It needed a two-thirds majority, or 290 votes, to pass the chamber.

Crude-oil futures ended lower after fluctuating between small gains and losses earlier in Friday’s session, as concerns about the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe kept

worries about oil demand alive and well. Crude for December delivery declined $1.41, or 1.4%, to settle at $97.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Shares of Chinese digital media company Focus Media Holdings Ltd. rose Friday after its third-quarter earnings beat expectations. Net income in the three months to Sept. 30

came to $62.2 million, or 44 cents per American Depositary Share, compared to $112.7 million, or 76 cents per ADS, a year ago.

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