U.S. stocks advanced Friday, capping off a second straight weekly advance for the market. Investors were encouraged by the latest corporate deal news, that General Electric would be selling its long-struggling lending business.
Investors are turning their focus to next week, when corporate earnings ramp up. So far the outlook isn't encouraging. With economic sluggishness in the U.S. and Europe, as wells the rapid appreciation of the dollar, analysts expect first-quarter results to be down 4.6 percent.