Stocks Gain for Fifth Straight Day

Microsoft and Altria boosted the Dow, while disappointing second-quarter earnings from Dell capped Nasdaq gains

Stocks finished higher Friday for a fifth consecutive session, recovering from early lows as investors digested Dell's (DELL) lackluster quarterly results. A lower-than-expected reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index provided further indications of economic slowdown, boosting bond prices, says Standard & Poor's Equity Research.

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