18 Jul 2009

Best week in four months for Wall St

9:08 am on 18 July 2009

Stocks ended their best week in four months on Friday on a flat note as strong earnings from IBM offset disappointing results from General Electric Co.

International Business Machines Corp rose 4.3% to $US115.42. But shares in GE shed 6.1% to $US11.65 after the conglomerate reported an unexpected drop in revenue.

GE's profit dropped nearly 50% as a slump in its finance and media businesses spread to its industrial units. Quarterly revenue fell by 17%.

Google Inc fell 2.8% to $430.25 on Nasdaq after a slump in advertising spending took a toll on quarterly revenue growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 32.12 points, or 0.37%, to 8,743.94.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 0.36 of a point, or 0.04%, to 940.38. And the Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.58 points, or 0.08%, to 1,886.61.

Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.29 billion shares changing hands - below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion.

About 1.91 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq - below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.

All three major US stock indexes recorded their best week since mid-March: the Dow rose 7.3%, the S&P 500 gained 7% and the Nasdaq climbed 7.4%.