A pair of traders confer on the floor of the...

A pair of traders confer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. (March 21, 2012) Credit: AP

Stocks eked out a small gain at the end of a rough week in which the market was weighed down by prospects of a global economic slowdown.

The Dow on Friday closed up 34.59 points, or 0.27 percent, at 13,080.73. Financial stocks performed well, led by a 2.6 percent gain for Bank of America.

For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 152 points, the worst in a month despite reports of strengthening in the U.S. jobs market and better corporate profits. Investors were worried about a slowdown in Asia and Europe and the impact of higher oil prices on consumer spending.

Home builders and home improvement stocks fell Friday after the Commerce Department said sales of new homes fell 1.6 percent last month. PulteGroup fell 2.6 percent and Lennar declined 1 percent, while Lowe's and Home Depot fell a little less than 1 percent.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up 4.33 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,397.11 and the Nasdaq composite rose 4.6 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,067.92.

A wide range of companies including Nike, FedEx and Tiffany have reported stellar earnings this week. However, those accomplishments were marred by worries of a slowdown.

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