Investors also monitored the ongoing troubles at Boeing(BA), which has been in focus this week due to problems with its new 787 Dreamliners that prompted authorities around the world to ground the planes.
GE brings good earnings to life
In international news, China's economy grew at a stronger-than-expected annual rate of 7.9% in the final three months of 2012. Asian stocks rallied on the news. The Nikkei surged nearly 3%, helped by a weaker yen.