Dow notches third straight week of gains

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average continued climbing on Friday, notching its third straight week of gains.

The Dow has lost ground only three days in February. The average of 30 large companies rose 1 percent this week and 4.2 percent for the month.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1 percent this week and is up 4.4 percent in February. Better manufacturing reports and stronger earnings have pushed stocks higher this month.

Caterpillar Inc. rose 2.4 percent to lead the Dow. The company said sales of its heavy construction and mining equipment surged 49 percent last month.

The Dow gained 73.1 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 12,391.25. The S&P 500 rose 2.58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,343.01. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.37, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,833.95.

Finance ministers and central bankers 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.

Campbell Soup Co. fell 4 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 7 percent after the personal finance software maker raised its forecast for full-year earnings growth late Thursday.

Rising shares outpaced falling ones by a nearly three to two margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was 1 billion shares.

Markets will be closed Monday for the President’s Day holiday.

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