NEW YORK (AP) - Stronger retail sales and surging profits from Google sent stocks higher Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average turned positive for the year and the S&P 500 index had its best week in more than two years.
Retail sales increased 1.1 percent in September, the biggest gain in seven months and double what economists projected. Retail sales are a key barometer of consumer spending, which helps drive economic growth. It was the latest positive report on the U.S. economy and added to a growing body of evidence that another U.S. recession isn't as likely as many had feared.
"The market's decline was predicated on the collapse of the euro zone and a U.S. recession," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at the broker BTIG in New York. "Neither seems likely now."
The Dow rose 166.36 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 11,644.49. The average of 30 large companies has shot up 9.3 percent after hitting 10,655 on Oct. 3, its lowest level of the year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 20.92, or 1.7 percent, to 1,224.58. The index gained 6 percent this week, the best week since July 2009. It was the highest close for the S&P since Aug. 3, when Washington was in paralysis over raising the country's borrowing limit.
The dollar and U.S. Treasury prices fell as investors moved money into assets that perform better when the economy picks up. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent, the highest level since August.
Oil and other commodities rose sharply. Energy industry stocks jumped. Exxon Mobil Corp. jumped 2.3 percent to $78.11; Chevron Corp. rose 2.7 percent to $100.47.
Stock indexes have reversed a long slide in recent weeks, helped by better news on the U.S. economy and progress in Europe toward resolving that region's debt crisis.