Stocks ended higher on Friday, ahead of a three-day weekend for the U.S. market, as investors weighed upbeat comments about the global economic recovery from the Group of Eight meeting against mixed U.S. economic news.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 12,441.58, up 38.82 points or 0.3 per cent. The broader S&P 500 closed at 1331.10, up 5.41 points or 0.4 per cent. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 13,797.59, up 21.69 points or 0.2 per cent.
The G8 meeting concluded with leaders expressing optimism about the global economic recovery, which lifted sentiment toward the stock market in early trading. The upbeat assessment comes amid a disappointing batch of recent economic indicators from the United States, including this week's readings on initial jobless claims, regional manufacturing surveys and first-quarter economic growth.
On Friday, the U.S. economy continued to give mixed signals. Pending home sales in April fell 11.6 per cent, which was far worse than economists' expectations for a drop of just 1 per cent. Consumer spending rose 0.4 per cent last month, which met expectations, but this was largely due to rising gas prices.
Bank of America Corp. rose 2 per cent, Johnson & Johnson rose 1.9 per cent and Walt Disney Co. rose 1.3 per cent. However, a number of more economically defensive names lagged: McDonald's Corp. fell 1 per cent, Merck & Co. Inc. fell 0.5 per cent and Coca-Cola Co. fell 0.3 per cent.
Royal Bank of Canada fell 3 per cent after its fiscal second-quarter earnings missed expectations. Toronto-Dominion Bank fell 0.6 per cent and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell 0.9 per cent.
Gold rose to $1,536.30 (U.S.) an ounce, up $13.50. Crude oil rose to $101.59 a barrel, up 36 cents. However, Suncor Energy Inc. fell 0.9 per cent, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. fell 0.8 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. was relatively unchanged.
Other commodity producers fared better. Teck Resources Ltd. rose 2.4 per cent and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. rose 1.2 per cent.