Stocks rebounded on Friday from a two-day selloff, but not enough to prevent the S&P 500 from breaking a seven-week winning streak.
The S&P 500 closed at 1515.60, up 13.18 points or 0.9 per cent – but down about 4 points from the start of the week after sustaining its biggest one-day dip of the year on Wednesday.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,000.57, up 119.95 points or 0.9 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,701.63, up 61.66 points or 0.5 per cent.
German business confidence rose to its highest level in 10 months, stirring optimism that the euro zone's biggest economy could be on the mend.
However, the upbeat survey followed a downgrade of the region's economy for 2013: The European Commission estimates that gross domestic product will contract 0.3 per cent this year, down from an estimate in November for growth of 0.1 per cent.
Key names in the technology sector dominated investor attention. Hewlett-Packard Co. surged 12.3 per cent after beating quarterly earnings and revenue estimates.
Apple Inc. rose 1.3 per cent. A U.S. judge granted a bid by hedge fund manager David Einhorn to block a shareholder proposal from Apple to limit preferred shares. Mr. Einhorn wants the company to use preferred shares to distribute cash to shareholders.
Research In Motion Ltd. fell 4.6 per cent after MKM Partners cut its recommendation on the stock to "sell." Earlier this week, Canaccord Genuity slashed its sales estimate for RIM's new BlackBerry Z10.
Among commodities, crude oil rose to $93.13 (U.S.) a barrel, up 29 cents. Gold fell to $1,572.80 an ounce, down $5.80. Among Canadian commodity producers, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.4 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. rose 0.5 per cent.