The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12.38 points to 12,861.33, with 19 of its 30 components tallying opening gains, led by American Express , up 4.9% after the credit card giant's late Thursday report of a less-than-forecast first-quarter profit drop.
Microsoft led blue-chip declines, its stock down 5.5% in the wake of its earnings report after the close on Thursday, which had the software titan reporting an 11% profit drop on virtually flat revenue. .
The S&P 500 rose 3.33 points to 1,392.15, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 14.69 points to 2,414.23.
Baidu.com Inc. advanced 4.2% after it reported first-quarter net income soared 71%.
Strength from financials - and in Europe, from the technology sector - drove overseas stocks higher. The Nikkei 225 rose 2.4% in Tokyo, and the FTSE 100 was up 0.4% in London.
By Kate Gibson