Stocks closed broadly if modestly higher Friday on light volume as traders avoided making any big bets ahead of a long holiday weekend. The equity markets closed up for the third straight day and extended their winning ways to a third consecutive week.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) rose 73 points, or 0.6%, to close at 12,391. The broader S&P 500 ($INX) gained 3 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 1,343. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) added 2 points, or 0.1%, to close at 2,834.

A dearth of economic news Friday and just a smattering of earnings helped keep market action muted. Caterpillar (CAT) helped boost the Dow after the heavy-equipment maker said machinery sales through dealers accelerated during the three months ended January. Intuit (INTU), maker of TurboTax software, saw it shares jump after lifting its earnings outlook late Thursday. But shares in Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) declined after the food company disappointed investors with a decrease in fourth-quarter profit and a cut to its earnings outlook.

Marking Time Ahead of the G-20

Global markets mostly shrugged off another rate hike in China, the nation that has been driving the world's economic recovery and is looking to cool down its own torrid pace of growth. China's central bank said it will raise banks' reserve requirements for the second time this year in order to curb inflation. However, the hike was widely expected after China reported a rise in consumer prices earlier this week.

Markets also marked time ahead of the latest meeting of the G-20. Finance chiefs from the world's 20 industrialized and fastest-developing nations will wrestle over how to address global trade imbalances in Paris this weekend. The last G-20 meeting in November ended without making any progress on long-standing currency and trade disputes.

In all, Friday capped another remarkable week for the markets. The Dow gained 0.9% over the last five sessions, while the S&P closed up 1%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.7%. For the year-to-date, the Dow is up 7%, the S&P is up 6.7% and the Nasdaq has added 6.8%.

Even more impressive, tracing back to start of the rally in late August, the Dow is up 24%, the broader S&P has added 28% and the Nasdaq has gained 34% in less than six months (see chart).

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Major Fraud Alert

The entire Federal Banking System under FirstGov has been "Consumed" and "Levied" by way of a Maryland State Circuit/District Court Ruled “Appropriation and Garnishment” of all Future Earnings prior to and after 2004 against Bank Of America by way of the F.D.I.C. Regulations Prohibiting failing Banks from Merging with other failing Banks between the Dates of 08/04/08 and 10/09/09.

Bank of America violated the 21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC Section:

seeking reimbursement of Credit, Loan, and Finance Balances as a "Bank Entity" and not a "Nonbank Consumer" as specified on Pages 85 and 86.

The person they sued through a LLC. Debt Collection Company and Law Firm was the "World Fortune Owner" who "Counterclaimed" and won.

Now all Contracts of any Corporations (Including Employment) under the "Controlling Interest" of any Investment Bank Worldwide are "Null and Void", and are also under the stipulated Rules and Regulations of an "Closely-held S Corporation rendering all Employed under Legal Actions against “Domination”, and also means that "No Corporation can hold Shares" officially making every Stock Exchange on the Planet a "Ponzi Scheme" by default.

Businesses owned by the States (Public Corporations) are being sold Stock Shares by Corporations also under the Federal Banking System in this Worldwide "Ponzi Scheme". The World Fortune Company Merrick Inc. Sweden is dissolving Millions and Billions of Dollars from "All Levels of Government"in the U.S. of Financing based upon Years of "negligent inaction" involving this case.

The Federal Government has already been forced to discontinue supplying the Financing States use to pay their debts, Persons in Government Offices may want to begin to take their jobs more seriously, these are different times from 10 Years ago and you will not be accepted civil servants here just because you say you are here to do the right thing.

May 29 2011 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

GOP Agenda: #1. Cut too much too soon and it will create a double dip recession and they will win the 2012 election (economists warned NOT to do this for 2011-12) #2. Destroy collective bargaining (happening in Wisconsin and Ohio) and they will be able to win every election from here to eternity. #3. Return to office in 2012 –dismantle social security and medicare. Divide and conquer has been used throughout history and now they have unlimited funding from corporate america. Don’t let this happen to our nation.

February 19 2011 at 1:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Manufacturing and export gains for 18 months, unemployment down to 9 from 10 and economists forecast it to be well below 9 by yearend, retail sales gains for 7th month, new construction gains 15%, ADP (payroll processing) reported 187,000 additions to payroll. President Obama has worked with our manufacturing sector since day one and we are seeing those results. He has negotiated better trade deals and enforcing existing trade laws (Bush/Cheney refused to do this). His policies and legislation are working.

February 19 2011 at 1:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I can remember clearly at the start of the Bush collapse in 2009 what terror was struck into the hearts of the working people whose 401K's had dropped 1/2 of their value.
Now that the economy has been pulled up by its bootstraps, I don't see anyone thanking the people in power who risked their careers trying to fix the wreck that Bush left of the economy.

All that they did was vote against the ones that restored the economy,and their 401K's.

February 18 2011 at 8:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply