Stocks Closed Higher; S&P 500 Ended at Record

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high, as a rally in oil prices and better-than-forecast economic growth in Europe offset a decline in American consumer confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 46.97 points, or 0.26%, to 1,8019.35, gaining 1.1% over the week. The S&P 500 added 8.51 points, or 0.41%, to 2,096.99, gaining 2% over the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 36.22 points, or 0.75%, to 4,893.84, gaining more than 3% over the week.

U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in February from an 11-year high amid worries over slowing economic growth, suggesting a recent weakness in spending might last for a while. The University of Michigan said on Friday its consumer sentiment index slipped to 93.6 in early February from a reading of 98.1 in January.

U.S. regulators on Friday approved two genetically engineered apple varieties designed to resist browning, rejecting efforts by the organic industry and other GMO critics to block the new fruit.

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