On Friday February 18, 2011, 12:21 pmNEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose in midday trading Friday ahead of the long holiday weekend, pointing to a third straight week of gains. ,
The Dow Jones industrial average has fallen on only three days in February. The index is up 0.7 percent this week and 4 percent for the month. The S&P 500 has risen 1 percent this week and 4.4 percent this month.
The Dow gained 42 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,360 in midday trading. The S&P 500 rose 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,343. The Nasdaq composite gained 7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,838.
Campbell Soup Co. fell 5 percent after the company said its profit fell 8 percent in its latest quarter. The company also cut its outlook for the rest of its fiscal year.
Intuit Inc. jumped 8 percent after the personal finance software maker raised its forecast for full-year earnings growth late Thursday.
Caterpillar Inc. rose 1.5 percent, the best performance among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow index. Pfizer Inc. fell 1 percent, the largest drop.
Trading was muted with little expected in the way of economics news or corporate announcements. Markets will be closed Monday for the President's Day holiday.
Officials from countries in the Group of 20 met in Paris Friday to discuss issues affecting the global economy. In a speech at the conference, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that countries with large trade surpluses like China should let their currencies rise in value in order to prevent another financial crisis. He also said that countries with large trade deficits must reduce government spending over time, an apparent reference to the United States.
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