US stocks shrugged off mixed corporate results and eurozone worries to hold onto their gains Friday, with the main indexes all ending higher for the week despite little concrete positive news.
Despite some negative signs for global growth and US businesses expressing more concern about policy gridlock in Washington, traders clung to moderately positive data on jobs and housing as signs that the US economy was rebounding.
For the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.85 percent to reach 13,207.95; the S&P 500 gained 1.07 percent to 1,405.87; and the Nasdaq put on 1.78 percent to 3,020.86.
Analysts said the previous week's release of slightly upbeat job creation data for July continued to underpin buying sentiment.
"The market went significantly higher, and I think that with a lack of meaningful catalysts this week, this (jobs) sentiment continued as the week went on," said Michael James of Wedbush Morgan Securities.
Even Friday's poor data on Chinese exports and imports -- which signaled the world's second largest economy was struggling to keep up growth -- failed to dull the US exchanges.
Mining, tech, energy and capital goods stocks were the better-performing categories, while transport, utilities and healthcare lagged.
"The market has shown a tremendous resiliency in its ability to shrug off negativity recently," said James.
"There is a little bit of negativity coming from China, in their data, that is causing a little bit of a market pullback... But clearly the bullishness in the market remains."
Traders were still dubious of any weak story among stocks. Fabled British football club Manchester United cut its IPO price but still failed to impress, with underwriters propping up the shares on their debut Friday.
Analysts compared the richly-priced offering to Facebook, which remained more than 40 percent below its May 18 launch.
While the week was slim on firm evidence for the direction of the US economy, the coming week's numerous data releases could provide a better picture.
"What has helped the market this week has been the employment number from one week ago," said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisers.
"We will now in the coming two weeks see more specific numbers... on how the US economy did in the month of July. And they should be fairly upbeat. The market this week improved some, but not a lot, in anticipation of upbeat numbers for the next two weeks."
The coming week's releases include consumer prices (Wednesday), industrial production (Wednesday), housing starts (Thursday), and leading indicators and consumer sentiment on Friday.
Analysts at MacroEconomic Advisers were mildly optimistic.
But they added that "Substantial uncertainties remain about the outlook related to progress on the European sovereign debt and banking crisis, and with respect to the response in Washington to the pending fiscal cliff."
Looking further out, analysts said the markets will struggle with more moderate earnings growth from companies.
"Relying on a multiple expansion to drive stock prices may not be a very rewarding experience," said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities.
"Second quarter earnings are up 5.4 percent from a year ago. Forward guidance suggests that third quarter results will be even less constructive. For the full year, earnings are expected to be up only 5 percent in contrast to the 15.5 percent rise last year."