Stocks Extend Weekly Gains To Five

U.S. stocks erased Friday losses to tally their fifth week of gains, as investors shrugged off an unexpected drop in China’s trade surplus. The Dow average ended up 42.76 points, or 0.32%, to 13,207.95. It rose 0.9% for the week. The S&P 50 gained 3.07 points, or 0.22%, to 1,405.87, up 1.1% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.22 points, or 0.07%, to 3,020.86, rising 1.8% for the week.

The U.S. federal budget deficit increased $70 billion in July and is on track to top $1 trillion for the fourth straight year. The deficit for the first 10 months of the 2012 budget year, which ends Sept. 30, totaled $974 billion, the Treasury Department said Friday. That’s 11.5 percent less than the $1.1 trillion gap in the same period last year.

Manchester United Plc (MANU), the English soccer club that raised $233.3 million yesterday in its U.S. initial public offering, received the most demand for its stock from American investors, Vice Chairman Edward Woodward said.

U.S. corn futures fell Friday, pressured by disappointment among market participants that a government forecast for domestic corn inventories came in no lower than analysts had expected. Chicago Board of Trade September corn futures settled down 18 1/4 cents, or 2.2%, at $8.00 a bushel.

Oil prices slipped on Friday on data showing China’s crude oil imports dropped in July and on weaker global oil demand forecasts by the International Energy Agency. Brent and U.S. crude posted their second straight weekly gains, with Brent up 3.68 percent and U.S. crude adding 1.6 percent.

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