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Capacity utilization fell 0.4 percentage points to 77.8%, a rate 2.5 percentage points below its long-run average, and down from a downwardly revised 78.2% the prior month.

The Fed said that Hurricane Sandy, which held down production in the Northeast region at the end of October, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by nearly 1 percentage point.

Economists were expecting the data to show a 0.2% rise in October output after a 0.4% increase in September, and capacity utilization levels of 78.3%.

The European markets were weak Friday. The FTSE 100 in London finished down by 1.25%, while the DAX in Germany settled off 1.22%.

On Friday, Greece looked to have managed to avoid defaulting on Treasury bills after raising enough proceeds through bond auctions this week, though it still remains in urgent need of bailout money.

Eurozone finance ministers are expected to convene next Tuesday to discuss unlocking more financial aid for the country.

"I don't know how going forward they're Greece is going to do anything other than beg for these loans that they need from the Troika," said Guilfoyle. "Now, should we go that route? I don't know. I think the Troika needs to cut the official sector debt, but they should cut the official sector debt the way they gave their private sector the hair cut. So if the official sector were to take a hair cut, they could really help Greece out. The official sector has owed 70% of all the money that Greece owes."

Japan's Nikkei average finished higher by 2.2% Friday as monetary stimulus hopes continued to prevail. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose by 0.24%, with investors staying cautious amid a lack of clarity about the policies that could arise from China's big leadership change.

Gold for December delivery settled up 90 cents at $1714.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts rose $1.05 to close at $86.92.

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The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 3/32, diluting the yield to 1.585%. The dollar advanced 0.22%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, shares of Foot Locker (FL) rose more than 4.5% after the athletic footwear and apparel retailer reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, with earnings per share of 63 cents on revenue of $1.524 billion as comparable-store sales jumped 10.2%.

Facebook (FB) shares surged more than 6% with investors likely encouraged by a show of strength in shares this week despite the expiration of a big share lockup.

Dynavax (DVAX) shares plunged more than 47% after a U.S. regulatory advisory committee failed to extend adequate approval to the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company's hepatitis B vaccine.

Getco Strategic Investments revealed a 23.8% stake in brokerage firm Knight Capital Group (KCG) , sending Knight shares up 6.4%.