Stocks take back a chunk of lost ground

NEW YORK - Good economic and corporate news helped the stock market stage a rebound at the end of a turbulent week of trading. Nike (NKE) jumped after turning in higher profits, leading the Dow Jones industrial average higher.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark for most mutual funds, still lost 1.4 percent for the week. The biggest drop came Thursday, the worst day for the stock market since July 31.

A steep drop one day is often followed by gains the next as investors hunt for beaten-down stocks. "After yesterday, it's only normal to get a little bit back because people tend to buy on the dips," said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede Trust.

The Dow surged 167.35 points, or 1 percent, to close at 17,113.15 on Friday. The S&P 500 index rose 16.86 points, or 0.9 percent, to end at 1,982.85 and the Nasdaq composite climbed 45.45 points, or 1 percent, finishing at 4,512.19.

The day started with good news. The government reported that the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.6 percent in the spring, the fastest pace in more than two years. That was followed by a strong reading of consumer sentiment this month.

Nike jumped 12 percent after reporting that solid sales and lower taxes helped drive its quarterly profit up 23 percent. Both its earnings and revenue beat Wall Street's estimates. Nike's stock gained $9.75 to $89.50, the largest gain among the 30 big companies in the Dow.

It was a roller coaster of a week. The Dow swung more than 100 points on all five days. The turbulence broke a long period in which the stock market rarely made a big move. Many investment strategists said investors should get used to it.

The sudden turbulence comes as investors speculate over the Federal Reserve's next steps. Economists expect the Fed to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate next year, but nobody is sure exactly when. The Fed hasn't raised that rate since June 2006.

"We're getting closer and closer to the Fed's first rate hike," said Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at the money manager BlackRock. "All that liquidity that the Fed created curbed volatility. As that liquidity recedes, volatility rises back to normal. We're just starting to get a taste of what normal is like."

Pride said he expects the market to resume its climb as the economy improves. "I think we'll continue to grind higher because the economic momentum is still there," he said.

Among other companies in the news, Janus's (JNS) stock soared 43 percent following news that famed bond-fund manager Bill Gross, a founder of bond giant Pimco, is leaving to join the firm. Janus said Gross, who ran the world's largest bond fund, starts work next Monday. Janus jumped $4.78 to $15.89.

An investment fund with a stake in Yahoo (YHOO) sent a letter to Yahoo's CEO urging the company to consider merging with AOL (AOL). Jeffrey Smith, who heads Starboard Value, wrote that a deal could save as much as $1 billion and create a more competitive company. Yahoo climbed $1.71, or 4 percent, to $40.66.

The euro continued to slide against the dollar, dipping to $1.268. It has lost more than 3 percent against the dollar this month.

The report on economic growth weighed on U.S. government bond prices, nudging yields up. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.53 percent from 2.50 percent late Thursday.

In commodity trading, precious and industrial metals made slight moves. The price of gold fell $6.50 to settle at $1,215.40 an ounce. Silver slipped 10 cents to $17.54 an ounce. Copper was unchanged at $3.03 a pound.

The price of oil increased on expectations of rising demand in the U.S., where economic growth appears to be picking up steam. Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.01 to close at $93.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, remained unchanged at $97.00 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy trading on the NYMEX:

-- Wholesale gasoline fell 5.6 cents to close at $2.662 a gallon.

-- Heating oil added 0.5 cent to close at $2.701 a gallon.

-- Natural gas rose 1.3 cents to close at $3.984 per 1,000 cubic feet