US stocks edge up on GE earnings

Friday, January 21, 2011

NEW YORK - Most US stocks climbed higher Friday as conglomerate General Electric reported better-than expected earnings, ending a mixed week for Wall Street on a positive note.

GE reported a surge in fourth-quarter earnings for 2010 to $4.54 billion profit, up from $3.01 billion in the same period of 2009. Net income for the year totalled $11.6 billion.

Stocks also reacted positively to improving business confidence in Germany and France, the eurozone’s two largest economies. The Munich-based Ifo institute’s index hit its highest level since records began two decades ago, while the mood in the French manufacturing industry climbed to a level not seen since March 2008.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 49.04 points, or 0.41 percent, to 11,871.84. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index gained 3.09 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,283.35.

But the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 14.74 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,689.54. Google shares fell 2.4 percent, one day after the company said chief executive Eric Schmidt would be replaced by Google co-founder Larry Page.

Stocks were mixed over the week. The Dow climbed 1.19 percent. But the S&P was virtually unchanged, inching down 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq fell sharply by 1.67 percent.

The US currency fell against the euro at 73.42 euro cents from 74.23 euro cents Thursday and dropped against the Japanese currency to 82.59 yen from 83 yen.

Filed under: Economy

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