Everybody put on your party hats: the U.S. equity markets closed up over 1 percent across the board on Friday. Positive economic news and generally strong earnings helped dissipate some of the malaise that had brewed over the past few days, and the Dow closed over 14,000 for the first time since 2007.
At the close: DJIA: +1.08%, S&P 500: +1.01%, NASDAQ: +1.18%.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.11 percent to $97.60 per barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) increasing 0.37 percent to $1,668.20 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) increasing 1.54 percent to $31.84 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-bill increased 0.033 points to 2.019 percent.
Oil and gas super majors Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results on Friday before the markets opened. Both companies beat bottom-line expectations but missed on the top-line, as production generally fell but downstream operations kicked into gear to provide an earnings boost… (Read more.)