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U.S. stocks move higher, on track for best week this year

A Wall Street sign near the flag-draped facade

A Wall Street sign near the flag-draped facade of the New York Stock Exchange on May 11, 2007. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks rose again on Friday, keeping the market on track for its best week this year, helped by advances in industrial companies. Markets continue to be driven by confidence that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for several more months.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,071 as of 12:05 p.m. Friday on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point to 2,014 and the Nasdaq composite rose 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,827. The S&P 500 is up 3.2 percent this week, its biggest gain since December. It has risen eight days out of the past nine.

DIGGING AWAY: European commodities giant Glencore jumped 7 percent in London after the company announced it would slash zinc production by a third.

RECYCLING BIN: One material company not doing well was Alcoa, the aluminum company, which fell 57 cents, or 5 percent, to $10.44. The company reported a steep drop in profits for its third quarter, citing lower aluminum prices and a strong U.S. dollar.

GREAT WEEK: Global markets also had a strong week, with Germany's DAX up 5.7 percent, France's CAC-40 up 5.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE up 4.7 percent this week. In Asia, markets in Japan, China and Hong Kong are up roughly 4 percent each.

CLEARANCE: Shares of Gap Inc. fell $1.73, or 6 percent, to $27.22 after the clothing retailer's results missed analysts' expectations. Sales were particularly disappointing at Banana Republic, the company's higher-end chain.

ENERGY: The price of oil and energy stocks rose as Russia's military actions in Syria raised the risk of a wider conflict in the region. Benchmark U.S. oil gained 26 cents to $49.67 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.11 percent. The euro rose to $1.1368 while the dollar rose to 120.32 yen.

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