GE profits send Dow up for 8th straight week

Strong profits at General Electric sent industrial stocks higher Friday and helped the Dow Jones industrial average notch its eighth straight week of gains.

Strong profits at General Electric sent industrial stocks higher Friday and helped the Dow Jones industrial average notch its eighth straight week of gains.

General Electric Co. gained 7.1 percent, leading the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. The conglomerate's earnings rose 52 percent on growth in equipment orders and lending.

The company's results helped send industrial companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 index up 1.2 percent. 3M Co., another industrial conglomerate, gained 1.4 percent and Textron Inc. rose 2.2 percent.

The Dow rose 49.04 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 11,871.84.

Bank of America Corp. lost 2 percent, making it the weakest Dow stock. The country's largest bank reported a $1.6 billion loss in the fourth quarter after setting aside more money to buy back faulty home loans from investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.09 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,283.35. It fell 0.8 percent for the week.

Technology companies in the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent, the worst of any of the 10 company groups that make up the index. Apple Inc. lost 1.8 percent and Microsoft Corp. fell 1.2 percent.

The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index slid 14.75 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,689.54. It lost 2.4 percent for the week.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. sank 6 percent. AMD's fourth-quarter profit shrank compared with a year ago, when a big legal settlement it won from archrival chip maker Intel Corp. lifted its earnings.

Google reported a 29 percent rise in income after the market closed Thursday. The Internet search giant said that co-founder Larry Page will take over as chief executive, replacing Eric Schmidt. Google's stock fell 2.4 percent.

Bond prices rose slightly, sending their yields down to 3.41 percent from 3.43 percent late Thursday.

Rising and falling shares were about even on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 4.7 billion shares.

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