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S&P 500 Is Little Changed, Hovering Near 5-Year High


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages were little changed during a volatile session on Friday as financial stocks were big drag after Wells Fargo (WFC) kicked off bank earnings with mixed results.

Policy news was also mixed Friday with China's faster-than-expected inflation pointing to a smaller chance of stimulus from the world's second-largest economy. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly deteriorated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 17 points, or 0.13%, to 13,488. The index added 0.4% for the week.

Breadth was even on the blue-chip index. The sharpest percentage decliners were Boeing(BA) , Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) , Bank of America (BAC) and Pfizer(PFE)

Boeing shares fell Friday as the Federal Aviation Administration prepared to review the design, manufacture and assembly of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Boeing's Dreamliner suffered a series of mishaps this week. Shares tumbled 1.9%.

Blue-chip gainers included Chevron(CVX) , Merck(MRK) and Microsoft(MSFT)

Chevron shares rose 1.1% after the company said Thursday that fourth-quarter earnings would be "notably higher" than third-quarter profit, getting a lift from bigger gains on asset sales and more oil and gas production.

American Express (AXP) shares edged higher by 0.7%. The global-payments company said Thursday it was cutting 5,400 jobs, or about 8.5% of its workforce, and would take fourth-quarter restructuring charges of $742 million.

The S&P 500 closed down incrementally at 1,472 after soaring to a five-year high Thursday. The S&P gained 0.4% in the week's five trading sessions. The Nasdaq settled down 4 points, or 0.1%, to 3,126. The tech-heavy index climbed 0.8% for the week.

The biggest sector decliners in the broad market Friday were basic materials, capital goods and financials. Technology shares led industries trading higher.

Volumes totaled 3.33 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.77 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers overtook decliners by a small 1.1-to-1 ratio on the Big Board and incrementally on the Nasdaq.

The major indices remained in the green for the week.

"We think we can probably move up another couple percent," said Mark Newton, Greywolf chief technical analyst, of the short-term market action. "We are certainly starting to get stress on a lot of the indices, but it still looks a little early to sell into this."

Wells Fargo reported better-than-expected earnings of $5.1 billion on revenue of $21.9 billion, beating adjusted estimates of $4.82 billion and $21.3 billion, respectively. However, the net interest margin narrowed 10 basis points , missing some estimates. Shares fell 0.9%.

The Census Bureau reported Friday that the U.S. trade deficit widened to $48.7 billion in November from a revised $42.1 billion in October. The prior October deficit estimate was $42.2 billion.

Economists, on average, were expecting a deficit of $41.3 billion for November.