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Mixed finish for U.S. market, but second week of gains

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks finished mixed Friday as encouraging economic news in the U.S. was weighed down by the price of oil, which turned lower. Stocks still posted a second straight week of gains, however.

Utility stocks also fell sharply, as the encouraging economic news caused interest rates to rise and made dividend-paying utility stocks less attractive.

The Commerce Department reported that U.S. gross domestic product rose more than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, helping soothe concerns that the U.S. economy was starting to sputter. The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the first estimate of 0.7 percent. Economists were expecting a reading of 0.4 percent growth.

"We are finally seeing some stabilization in the economic data - durable goods numbers, retail sales, and this second reading on GDP - that will hopefully end this debate on whether the U.S. economy is heading toward recession," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist with Prudential Financial.

Up nearly 2 percent for the week, the Dow Jones industrial average (DJI) fell 57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,640.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX) shed nearly 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,948. The Nasdaq composite (comp) rose 8 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,890.

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