It was the S&P 500's turn to close at a milestone level, and a big deal may be brewing the cable industry. The Dow topped 16,000 on Thursday, but Friday, it shared the spotlight with the S&P 500, which closed above 1,800 for the first time.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained nearly 55 points on the day, to complete its seventh straight weekly gain. The S&P 500 (^GPSC) rose 9 points Friday, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) added 22.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) jumped 10 percent, following a Wall Street Journal report that its much smaller rival, Charter Communications (CHTR), is nearing a deal to borrow enough money to make a bid for the cable company. Charter gained 5.5 percent, and other cable and satellite companies followed it upward. Cablevision (CVC) rose 6 percent and DirecTV (DTV) added 3 percent.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%A big gainer in the drug sector was ARIAD Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), which soared 35 percent after European regulators said the company could continue to sell a cancer drug that the FDA rejected. But -- and this is a big but -- Ariad stock has lost nearly 80 percent of its value over the past 3 months, due largely to that FDA decision last month.
Biogen Idec (BIIB) jumped 13 percent after winning a decade of market exclusivity in Europe for its new multiple sclerosis treatment.
Some retailers continued to struggle. Gap (GPS) fell 1 percent on a disappointing earnings outlook. Target (TGT), J.C. Penney (JCP) and TJX (TJX) also fell.
And another discounter warns investors the holiday season won't have much ho-ho-ho in its sales stocking. Ross Stores forecast results for the current quarter that fell short of expectations. Its shares lost 5 percent.
Other Big Movers Included:
Intel (INTC), down 5 percent after forecasting flat sales for next year.
Data analytics firm Splunk (SPLK) rallied 22 percent as revenue soared.
What to Watch Monday:
The National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales for October at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas releases its manufacturing survey for November at 10:30 a.m.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
5 Best Apps to Invest Smarter
After Market: S&P 500 Joins the Round-Number Milestone Party
The promise: Offers customizable, themed portfolios of up to 30 stocks. Price: Free Available on: Website, iPhone
Motif lets you invest in a very narrow sector -- say, clean tech or companies tied to the housing rebound -- using one of 90 themed portfolios. The site requires a $250 minimum and charges a commission of $9.95 per portfolio.
You wouldn't want to use Motif for your retirement fund, but it's a fun way to invest your mad money if you play the market. The service could also be a good introduction to investing for novices, says MIT finance professor Andrew Lo.
The promise: Puts your investment data on a single dashboard and recommends ways to optimize your portfolio. Price: Free Available on: Website, iPhone, Android
This site-and-app combo syncs with more than 90 brokerages to track your 401(k), IRA, and stock market investments.
You can also see charts breaking down your asset allocation and risk level.
What really sets SigFig apart from other investing tools, though, is that the service checks your portfolio weekly for hidden fees, overcharges, and underperforming funds, and suggests alternatives.
The promise: Tracks and analyzes your investment, bank, and credit card accounts. App allows you to make payments and transfers. Price: Free Available on: Website, iPhone, Android
Best for investing and budget
By combining money management tools with a full listing of your investment accounts, Personal Capital provides a broad financial picture in a single application, says Jim Breune, editor of NetBanker.com, which covers online financial tools.
Personal Capital offers fee-based financial advice, but you don't need to buy in to use its website and mobile app.
Follow your investments in real time with an app.
Mobile offerings vary by brokerage (Fidelity's version is still the most downloaded), but most also let you check news and quotes, says Brett DiDonato of OnlineBrokerRev.com.
Price: Free Available on: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone
A treasure trove of financial info. Track your investments in real time or use interactive charts to get more detailed data about their performance.