Stocks end week with gains


NEW YORK — Better earnings from General Electric and Morgan Stanley helped the stock market inch higher Friday, as major indexes closed out their third straight week of gains.

GE led the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average after the conglomerate reported stronger quarterly earnings, thanks to orders from Brazil, Angola and other developing countries. Profits increased at all seven of its industrial segments, including oil and gas, energy management, aviation and transportation. GE climbed 74 cents to $22.04.

The Dow gained 53.68 points to end at 13,649.70.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5.04 points to 1,485.98, while the Nasdaq composite fell 1.30 points to 3,134.70.

This earnings season is off to a good start so far. Of the 67 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported, 43 have trumped analysts’ estimates.

Solid results this week from JPMorgan Chase and others, along with encouraging news on housing and employment, pushed the S&P 500 index to its latest five-year high.

Morgan Stanley’s earnings surged across its many business lines, as more companies hired the investment bank to help it raise money and line up mergers. Morgan Stanley gained 8 percent, rising $1.63 to $22.38.

Analysts forecast that companies in the S&P 500 will report a 4 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings over the same period the year before, according to a report out Friday from S&P Capital IQ.