NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
The Nasdaq rallied Friday and the broader market posted more muted gains, thanks to upbeat earnings and a drop in oil prices. For the week, the major indexes closed narrowly mixed.
The Nasdaq composite (up 15.50 to 1912.09, Charts) added 0.8 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average (up 29.10 to 9966.74, Charts) gained 0.3 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 (up 4.37 to 1093.56, Charts) index gained 0.4 percent.
Treasury prices fell, pushing their yields higher. The dollar declined, boosting gold and other dollar-traded commodities.
For the week, the Dow lost 0.45 percent, falling for the fourth week in a row, its worst stretch since January through early February 2003, when it also fell for four weeks in a row.
The S&P lost 0.2 percent, also falling for the fourth week in a row. The Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent, after three weeks of declines.
Higher oil prices, the events in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, and worries about how much the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year have weighed on markets for weeks. But there was progress on some of those issues Friday, and that lent support to the market.
However, next week looks to present more challenges.
"There's a lot going on next week," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services. "There's the OPEC and G8 meetings this weekend, and a bunch of economic reports that the market is going to be watching carefully."
"So you've got all these unknowns, and it's really difficult to anticipate how the market is going to respond," he added. "The market is at a more confusing place than I've seen it in some time. There's not a lot of sellers, it just seems that no one's ready to step up to the plate and buy with all this uncertainty."
No major earnings, and no economic data are expected Monday. However, the rest of the week is chock full of potentially market-moving economic news, including consumer confidence and existing home sales on Tuesday, and durable goods orders and new home sales Wednesday.
In particular, the price of oil has been a big weight on sentiment, and the market found some relief from that Friday. Light crude oil futures closed below $40 for the first time in 10 days, sinking 87 cents to $39.93 on the NYMEX on news reports that Saudi Arabia is pushing for OPEC to raise production by more than 2 million barrels a day. OPEC is meeting this weekend.
Thursday comments from Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke at an economics event soothed investors by sticking close to the Fed's recent rhetoric of 'rates can rise at a measured pace.'
Earnings released early Friday were seen as positive as well, with some technology and retail names reporting higher-than-expected results. Stocks may have also gained due to the impact of the monthly options expirations
A rise in the book-to-bill ratio, released Thursday, offered some support to semiconductors, and by extension, to technology shares and the Nasdaq composite. The ratio, which measures North American chip gear orders to shipments was 1.14 in April, meaning that for every $100 products shipped, $114 in new orders came in. The ratio was 1.09 in March.
"The market selloff has really accelerated since late April and that sort of washout is what usually sets the next leg of a rally up," said Barry Ritholtz, a market analyst at Maxim Group.
"Sometimes the spring gets tightened so much, and the market gets so oversold, that even if you don't like what's going on geopolitically, or with the oil prices, you want to position yourself to take advantage of an eventual pick up," he added.
Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO: up $0.75 to $9.30, Research, Estimates) surged 8.8 percent following an afternoon report that said a perjury charge will be filed against a key government witness in Stewart's recent stock sale case.
Shares of U.S. savings and loan Washington Mutual (WM: up $3.55 to $43.20, Research, Estimates) rallied 9 percent on talk that it could be sold to HSBC Holdings, the largest bank in Britain.
Delta Air Lines (DAL: up $0.65 to $6.64, Research, Estimates) added another 10 percent to its almost 16 percent gain Thursday, sparked by an upgrade from Lehman Brothers, although the brokerage also cautioned that the company faces big risks if it doesn't reach a deal with its pilots that would save costs.
ADC Telecom (ADCT: up $0.27 to $2.48, Research, Estimates) rallied 12 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral." The communications firm reported breakeven results Wednesday versus a loss a year earlier, meeting expectations.
Broadband and computer data storage company Marvell Technology (MRVL: up $4.26 to $44.09, Research, Estimates) rose 10.7 percent after reporting earnings of 34 cents per share, up from a year earlier and 2 cents more than what analysts were expecting.
Serena Software (SRNA: up $3.82 to $20.60, Research, Estimates) rallied 22.8 percent after the company posted earnings late Thursday of 24 cents per share, up from a year earlier and four cents more than what analysts were expecting.
High-end retailer Nordstrom (JWN: up $2.67 to $39.90, Research, Estimates) reported higher results that topped estimates, sending its shares up more than 7 percent.
Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners beat losers by more than two to one as 1.25 billion shares changed hands. On the Nasdaq, advancers topped decliners by more than three to two as 1.37 billion shares traded.
Treasury prices fell. The 10-year note lost 14/32 of a point in price, pushing its yield up to 4.76 percent from 4.70 percent late Thursday. The dollar fell versus the yen and euro.
Among commodities markets, COMEX gold rallied $6.40 to settle at $384.90 an ounce, in response to the dollar's weakness.