Google’s All-Time High and the Dow Closes Over 14,000: Market Recap

Everybody put on your party hats: the U.S. equity markets closed up over 1 percent across the board on Friday. Positive economic news and generally strong earnings helped dissipate some of the malaise that had brewed over the past few days, and the Dow closed over 14,000 for the first time since 2007.

At the close: DJIA: +1.08%, S&P 500: +1.01%, NASDAQ: +1.18%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 0.11 percent to $97.60 per barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) increasing 0.37 percent to $1,668.20 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) increasing 1.54 percent to $31.84 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-bill increased 0.033 points to 2.019 percent.

Investors are making great returns as markets roar higher. Join the party. Click here to discover our Feature Stock Pick now!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:Oil and Gas New Feature 300x270

Oil and gas super majors Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results on Friday before the markets opened. Both companies beat bottom-line expectations but missed on the top-line, as production generally fell but downstream operations kicked into gear to provide an earnings boost… (Read more.)

Merck (NYSE:MRK) was pretty much the only Dow component to rain on everyone’s parade, closing 3.2 percent lower following its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial results. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 4.5 percent to $11.7 billion, beating estimates by $270 million. Fourth-quarter earnings fell 6.1 percent to $0.46 per share, beating estimates by a penny. Full-year sales dropped 2 percent to $47.3 billion, while earnings climbed 6.9 percent to $2.16 per share. However, full-year 2013 EPS guidance in a range between $3.60 and $3.70 is a little bearish for some investors.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) temporarily hit a new all-time high on Friday. Shares briefly touched $775.17 before retreating slightly. They jumped up more than 2.5 percent on the news that the technology company is close to reaching a settlement with European Union regulators after a three-year long investigation… (Read more.)

Apple storeApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to be the leader in app revenue, earning 350 percent more than Google Play just in December, but the Android app marketplace is gaining ground fast by growing at a much faster pace. According to data from research group App Annie, Google boosted revenue from mobile applications more than six times in 2012 on the back of growing sales of smartphones running Android. Apple’s App Store less than doubled, but its growth in absolute dollars was still higher than Google’s… (Read more.)

Apparently, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) did not get invited to the market rally party on Friday. Shares were off as much as 3 percent while the markets soared around it and Google hit a fresh all-time high. Analysts and investors are apparently punishing the stock for its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results, which were released on Wednesday after the markets closed… (Read more.)

Auto sales in the United States are off to a good start in 2013, with the Big Three all reporting strong January results. Full-year car sales in the country are expected to be about 15.5 million, a 6.9 percent gain on 2012, as the economy recovers. However, U.S. automakers have signaled that 2013 may be a period of restructuring and investment, and have played down bullish expectations… (Read more.)

It was the best January for the Dow since 1994, and the best for the S&P 500 since 1997. Both indices posted their best month since October 2011. According to TrimTabs Investment Research, nearly $80 billion flowed into stock mutual funds and exchange traded funds in January, the best monthly haul in at least a decade… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Stocks Fight Off Washington D.C.