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Markets extend weekly advance : Stocks rally, with the Dow climbing 73 points. Earnings at Walt Disney and Abercrombie shine.

November 14, 2009|Bloomberg News

Stocks rallied Friday, recording their second straight weekly advance, as higher-than-estimated earnings at Walt Disney and Abercrombie & Fitch overshadowed an unexpected drop in consumer confidence.

The dollar declined against most major counterparts, and oil fell to a one-month low.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 73 points.

The Dow and other major stock indexes stumbled briefly into negative territory on news that the Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in October.

Most economists had expected it to increase.

Shares of Disney jumped $1.39, or 4.8%, to $30.44, marking the steepest climb among the Dow's 30 stocks, after the entertainment giant reported late Thursday that its profit rose 18% in the latest quarter.

The company's sales grew 4.5%, more than expected.

And Abercrombie & Fitch shares climbed 11%, the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, after the teen-apparel retailer reported higher-than-anticipated earnings.

Of the S&P 500 companies that have released results for the third quarter, a record 80% have exceeded analysts' estimates for earnings per share, even as corporate profits slumped for a record ninth straight quarter.

The Dow rose 73 points, or 0.7%, to 10,270.47.

The S&P 500 gained 6.24 points, or 0.6% to 1,093.48.

The Nasdaq composite index jumped 18.86 points, or 0.9%, to 2,167.88.

Stocks of companies that sell discretionary consumer products posted the steepest advance among 10 broad industry groups in the S&P 500, adding 1.6% as a group.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.5%, the S&P 500 gained 2.3% and the Nasdaq advanced 2.6%.

In other market highlights Friday:

* J.C. Penney added 6.2% after the third-largest U.S. department store chain raised its full-year profit forecast.

* McDonald's rose 2.3% on a report that it plans to expand in Poland.

* Goodyear added 4.4% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy," citing improved earnings prospects in 2010.

* Juniper Networks surged 5.9%. The second-largest maker of networking equipment was raised to "outperform" from "market perform" by Oppenheimer & Co.

* An index of the dollar's value against of six major currencies slid 0.5% after a two-day rebound from a 15-month low.

* Oil futures fell 59 cents to $76.35 a barrel, their lowest level in more than four weeks. Gold futures rose $10.10 to $1,116 an ounce.

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