By Anora Mahmudova and Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. stock market climbed on Friday, shrugging off mixed economic reports, including producer prices, industrial production and consumer sentiment.
The main benchmarks were on track to record a second straight week of gains, with the S&P 500 on track to record its largestweekly gain in four months.
Stock prices were boosted by a relative calm on the geopolitical scene over the past week, while soft economic reports eased fears that the Federal Reserve would hike rates sooner rather than later.
The S&P 500 (SPX) picked up 7.7 points, or 0.4%, to 1,963.00.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) added 52 points, or 0.3%, to 16,765.10.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) gained 27 points, or 0.6%, to 4,479.87.
Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer of equities at Calvert Investments, said the broader environment as well as healthy earnings are supporting the market.
"Flare-ups in the geopolitical scene have impacted risk-aversion to some degree, but fundamentals remain healthy -- the U.S. economy is growing and corporations' profits are growing," Trunow said.
In economic news, U.S. producer prices inched up in July, a second consecutive month of gains, led by services such as transportation and warehousing, the government reported Friday. That is one of several recent inflation gauges that show price growth isn't running too hot for the Fed.
Separately, thanks to a sizable jump in auto production, industrial production rose in July, marking the sixth month of gains, the Federal Reserve said Friday.
A preliminary August reading on the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index fell to the lowest level since November, however, investors shrugged off the report.
At 10:45 a.m. Eastern, Narayana Kocherlakota, the Minneapolis Fed president, will talk about the economy and the state of community banking at the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota's annual meeting. Kocherlakota, one of the Fed's leading doves, is a voting member of the Fed policy committee this year.
John De Clue, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said it was not surprising to see this market so resilient in the face ofgeopolitical concerns.
"Second-quarter earnings have been better than many of us expected and the economy is growing. The fact that we are not seeing larger pullbacks mean that investors are not alarmed by the impact of geopolitical issues," De Clue said.
In Ukraine on Friday, border guards and customs officers began inspecting a convoy of trucks that Russia says contains humanitarian aid for war-torn eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has said the convoy could be used as a prelude to a Russian invasion.
Stocks in focus
Monster Beverage (MNST) shares leapt on Coca-Cola's (KO) move to acquire a 17% ownership stake in the energy drink company, as part of a long-term partnership deal. Coke will make a $2.15 billion cash payment and transfer its global energy drink business to Monster.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals (US-ACHN) rallied in heavy volume following positive results from a clinical trial related to sovaprevir, the company's experimentalhepatitis C treatment.
SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) shares rallied after the company confirmed that it will upgrade its killer whale tanks, succumbing to public pressure from animal activists.
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) gained, after the chip-making equipment provider's quarterly sales and earnings report topped Wall Street expectations. Read more about the day's notable movers here.
In other markets, 10-year Treasury yields fell 2 basis points to 2.38%. Oil futures (CLU4) edged higher and gold futures (GCZ4) fell 1.5%. In Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng index finished at its best level in more than three years. European stocks were higher.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 15, 2014 10:45 ET(14:45 GMT)
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