Investing.com - U.S. stock prices rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 extending its longest winning streak since 2004 on better-than-expected earnings hitting the wire in the U.S. as well as on firming German business confidence data.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.51%, the S&P 500 index was up 0.54%, while the Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.62%.
Fourth-quarter earnings continue to come in better than expected for many companies in the U.S., enticing market players out of safe-haven dollar positions and into stock markets, which was bearish for the dollar and bullish for equities on Friday.
Most recently, Starbucks and Procter & Gamble released earnings that surprised on the upside.
Stocks also rose after the Ifo Institute for Economic Research said that its index of German business confidence improved to 104.2 in January from 102.4 the previous month, beating expectations for a rise to 103.0.
Elsewhere, the European Central Bank said that banks will repay EUR137.159 billion in three-year loans next week, opting to repay the money early, a sign the European financial sector and broader economy may be returning to health.
The European Central Bank made the three-year loans available to banks last year to increase liquidity levels to combat the debt crisis.
Weak U.S. housing data cooled gains on Friday.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home sales rose less than anticipated in December, gaining by 369,000 units after an increase of 398,000 in the previous month.
Analysts had expected new home sales to rise by 385,000 units last month.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Procter & Gamble, up 3.93%, JPMorgan Chase & Co., up 1.66%, and Johnson & Johnson, up 1.12%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Wal-Mart Stores, down 1.13%, Caterpillar, down 1.08%, and Boeing, down 0.39%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.78%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.69%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished up 1.42%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.12%.