NEW YORK The Dow Jones industrial average continued climbing on Friday, notching its third consecutive week of gains.
The Dow has lost ground only three days in February. The average of 30 large companies rose 1 percent this week and 4.2 percent for the month.
The broader Standard & Poors 500 index gained 1 percent this week and is up 4.4 percent in February.
Better manufacturing reports and stronger profits from Dell Inc., McDonalds Corp. and other companies have pushed stocks higher this month. With the earnings season coming to a close, nearly 70 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 that reported results so far have beat analysts expectations, according to Royal Bank of Scotland.
Caterpillar Inc. rose 2.4 percent to lead the Dow. The company said sales of its heavy construction and mining equipment surged 49 percent last month.
Alcoa Inc. fell 1.4 percent, the largest drop.
The Dow gained 73.11 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 12,391.25. The S&P 500 rose 2.58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,343.01. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.37, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,833.95.
The Nasdaq is now 25 points away from reaching a 10-year high.
Finance ministers and central bankers from countries in the Group of 20 met in Paris on Friday to discuss issues affecting the global economy. In a speech at the conference, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that countries with large trade surpluses such as China should let their currencies rise in value in order to prevent another financial crisis. He also said that countries with large trade deficits must reduce government spending over time, an apparent reference to the United States.
Campbell Soup Co. fell 4 percent after the company said its profit fell 8 percent in its latest quarter. The company also cut its outlook for the rest of its fiscal year.
Intuit Inc. jumped 7 percent after the personal finance software maker raised its forecast for full-year earnings growth late Thursday.
Rising shares outpaced falling ones by a nearly 3 to 2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated trading volume was 4 billion shares.
Markets will be closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.