Stocks Ended Mixed Friday, Weekly Gains

U.S. stocks on Friday veered nearly unchanged to tally weekly gains as another round of better-than-expected reports on consumer confidence and housing offset worries about crude oil’s rise above $109 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1.74 points, or o.o1%, to end at 12,982.95, leaving it up 0.3% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 2.28 points, or 0.17%, to 1,365.74, also gaining 0.3% from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 6.77 points, or 0.23%, to 2,963.75, rising 0.4% for the week.

Consumer sentiment rose in February to the highest level in a year on strong awareness of improving employment, according to a gauge released Friday by the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. Consumer sentiment rose to 75.3 in February from 75 in January, achieving a sixth month of improvement. Consumers’ expectations rose to 70.3 from 69.1, while their views on current conditions declined to 83 from 84.2.

Lured by low prices and warm weather, more Americans went shopping for new homes in January and December, government data showed Friday. New home sales totaled 321,000 in January on an annualized basis, compared to 324,000 in December, the Census Bureau reported Friday.

Crude-oil futures rallied above $109 a barrel on Friday, extending gains to a seventh session and posting a weekly rise of 6% on ongoing concerns about supply disruptions. Crude for April delivery rose $1.94, or 1.8%, to $109.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.






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