Developing: Stocks bounced between gains and losses, ending the week on a mixed note with the Dow retreating from all-time highs, while tech stocks helped the Nasdaq eke out gains for the day.
Earlier version of the story...
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U.S. stocks moved between small gains and losses on Friday as investors assessed a number of positive economic reports.
Retail sales increased by more than expected, while consumer sentiment was at its highest level since mid-2007. Business inventories climbed in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq were poised to record modest gains for the week.
The Dow industrials (DJI) were hovering near record levels after logging their 25th record close on Thursday.
The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) edged higher.
Jeff Kravetz, regional investment manager for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, based in Phoenix, said markets are reflecting the fact there are lots of conflicting signals.
"On one hand, economic data lately have been friendly to equities, as most reports are positive. On the other hand, volatility in oil prices and geopolitical risks are weighing on sentiment," Kravetz said.
Kravetz, however, thinks that U.S. equities are still attractive for foreign investors as there are very few other alternatives.
Economic data:Sales at U.S. retailers rose in October, snapping back from the first decline in eight months as gasoline prices continued to plunge. The uptick in spending last month, especially when gasoline is stripped out, suggests households could be prepared to spend more during the holiday season than they have in years.
The prices paid for imported goods fell in October, largely due to plunging global oil prices, the Labor Department said Friday. The drop was in line with forecasts.
The preliminary November reading on the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index rose to the highest level since July 2007.
Movers:Baker Hughes Inc.(BHI) jumped after The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Halliburton Co. (HAL) is interested in a tie-up. Halliburton shares also rose.
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) shares rose after the retailer late Thursday reported earnings and sales ahead of estimates.
Hertz Global Holdings(HTZ) shares slid after the company said on Friday that it has determined that, in addition to 2011 financial statement, it also needs to restate 2012 and 2013 quarterly and annual financial statements.
(Read more about the day's notable stocks in Movers & Shakers column: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nordstrom-amat-halliburton-are-stocks-to-watch-2014-11-14.)
Other markets: Crude oil (CLZ4) hovered around a multiyear low, while Brent rebounded from a four-year low.
Metals were mostly lower, pressured by a rise in the dollar, which rose against the yen, to Yen116.68.
In Asia, markets closed mixed, while Europe struggled for direction after eurozone GDP numbers beat forecasts.