Stocks closed with modest gains Friday as solid earnings from banks helped extend momentum from the previous day's rally. State Street and Citizens Financial were among the latest banks to report encouraging results in a week of solid reports from larger financial institutions, per the AP. Investors also were digesting the latest government housing data which showed a December surge in new home construction. The news sent homebuilder shares broadly higher. The Dow rose 50 points to 29,347, the S&P 500 rose 12 points to 3,329, and the Nasdaq gained 31 points to close at 9,388.
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