US stocks : Dow up 0.3 pct
Stocks opened sharply lower for the session as Asian factories slowed and European output fell, but most of the losses evaporated after a report showed U.S. manufacturing activity expanded last month at its fastest clip in 20 months.
U.S. consumer sentiment also rose in February as Americans turned more optimistic about the job market.
With $85 billion in government budget cuts set to begin, President Barack Obama blamed Republicans for failure to reach a compromise to avert the cuts, known as sequester. But the stock market appeared to have already priced in the failure by legislators to reach an agreement.
"We were able to dig out of that hole, but not make any great strides on it either," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. "We will probably be in a holding pattern pending some big development on a broader budget deal."
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35.17 points, or 0.25 percent, to 14,089.66 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 3.52 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,518.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 9.55 points, or 0.30 percent, to 3,169.74.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.6 percent, the S&P 500 edged up 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent.
The slight gains for equities came
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