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Stocks Mixed, But S&P 500 Hits Five-Year High


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages were mixed Friday as the benchmark S&P 500 Index worked its way up to a five-year high.

The S&P 500 climbed 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,486, bringing its gain to 0.95% this week. Surprisingly bleak U.S. consumer confidence and a lagging technology sector weighed on the markets. Still, the S&P 500 is at its highest close since Dec. 26, 2007.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 54 points, or 0.4%, to 13,650. The blue-chip index gained 1.2% for the week and finished up six of the past seven days.

Breadth was slightly positive with losers outnumbering winners 21 to nine on the Dow. The most prominent blue-chip percentage decliners were Intel(INTC) , American Express (AXP) , Bank of America (BAC) , Pfizer(PFE) , Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) and Boeing(BA) .

American Express posted a 47% decline in fourth-quarter net income, as the credit card issuer incurred charges related to restructuring costs and other expenses. Adjusted earnings of $1.09 a share topped Wall Street estimates. Shares were off 1.6%.

Boeing shares slid 0.31% on ongoing concerns about the safety of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

General Electric (GE) was a blue-chip winner after the industrial giant reported good fourth-quarter results. Caterpillar(CAT) and DuPont(DD) shares also traded higher. AT&T(T) added 0.63%.

AT&T said Thursday it would record a $10 billion fourth-quarter charge related to its pension and benefit plans . After trading in the red for much of the morning, the shares recovered some, but fell again in the afternoon session.

The Nasdaq lost 1 point to 3,135. The tech-heavy index rose 0.29% for the week.

Most sectors in the broad market rose. Conglomerates marched higher as General Electric, the largest U.S. conglomerate, advanced. Utilities and energy were also up. Lagging sectors were led by technology, consumer-cyclicals and health care.

Volumes totaled 3.77 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.85 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues were outpacing decliners by a ratio of 1.9-to-1 on the Big Board, and 1.2-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The University of Michigan consumer confidence index showed a read of 71.3 for January, falling from the final December print of 72.9. It was a big miss compared with the 75 level expected by economists and the weakest since December 2011.

"Escalation of the battle of wills in Washington surrounding the previous survey period saw both current and forward-looking expectations fall by the most in 21 months, and so far little respite is apparent in the current reading," Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak, said of the consumer confidence report.

In earnings news, General Electric posted fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $39.3 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of 43 cents a share on revenue of $38.74 billion, as five of the seven industrial segments achieved double-digit earnings growth. Shares gained 3.5% on Friday.

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