Stocks closed mixed Friday as better-than-expected earnings from General Electric helped the Dow and S&P 500 snap two-day losing streaks, but the Nasdaq closed lower after disappointing results from Advanced Micro Devices.
Improving economic conditions at home and abroad, strong corporate profits and the Fed's easy-money policies have some money managers bullish on equities going into 2011. Plus, companies are staring to deploy their cash hoards on M&A, dividends and share-buybacks.
The last full trading week of 2010 has closed and stocks were modestly mixed trading on light volume. While pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Merck put a damper on the Dow, robust earnings from Oracle and Research In Motion helped lift tech stocks.
Volatility started picking up in the last few sessions, and now that a downbeat Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has made another round of stimulus all but certain, traders are taking notice that things aren't nearly as good as they could be.