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Stocks end week with gains; GE leads Dow

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 11:29 PM

NEW YORK — Better earnings from General Electric and Morgan Stanley helped the stock market inch higher Friday, as major indexes closed out their third straight week of gains.

GE led the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average after the conglomerate reported stronger quarterly earnings, thanks to orders from Brazil, Angola and other developing countries. Profits increased at all seven of its industrial segments, including oil and gas, energy management, aviation and transportation. GE climbed 74 cents to $22.04.

The Dow gained 53.68 points to end at 13,649.70.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.04 points to 1,485.98, while the Nasdaq composite fell 1.30 points to 3,134.70.

Even though investors had plenty of news to digest, trading was largely quiet. "Earnings always matter," said Rex Macey, the chief investment officer of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors in Atlanta. "But just because we're in the middle of earnings season doesn't mean we're going to get huge market moves."

This earnings season is off to a good start so far. Of the 67 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported, 43 have trumped analysts' estimates.

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