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Published: Friday, 4/20/2012

Stocks creep higher as strong earnings win a 'wrestling match' with shaky economic data


NEW YORK — Stronger profits from Microsoft, McDonald's and other major U.S. corporations are helping stocks finish higher. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index had a winning week for the first time this month.

The Dow rose 65 points to close at 13,029 on Friday. The S&P 500 added a point and a half to 1,379.

Microsoft rose 4.5 percent after beating analysts' projections for quarterly earnings and revenue.

In other trading, Apple sank 2.5 percent. That helped tug the Nasdaq composite index down seven points to 3,000. Apple, the most valuable company in the world, accounts for 12 percent of the Nasdaq.

Nearly two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was light at 3.8 billion shares.

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