NEW YORK, Mar. 28 -- U.S. stocks advanced on Friday, the sixth gain in the past seven sessions, as more evidences in domestic economic recovery offset uncertainties from overseas.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 50.03 points, or 0.41 percent, to 12,220.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 4. 14 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,313.80, and the Nasdaq was up 6. 64 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,743.06.
For the week, both the blue-chip Dow and broader S&P 500 rallied about 3 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged nearly 4 percent, breaking a two-week losing streak and recouping all losses since the massive earthquake struck Japan.
Material sector led the gains in the market this week, rallying more than 4 percent as commodity prices surged across the board, while Energy sector was also among the best performers amid rising oil prices.
Technology shares made an impressive comeback, jumping more than 4 percent this week, on strong earnings and corporate outlooks.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), known as the fear gauge of the stock market, fell for the seventh consecutive day, extending its retreat since March 16 to 41 percent.
Even though some traders were still taking sidelines amid Libya' s continuous unrest, Japan's nuclear concerns and ongoing European debt woes, more and more investors seemed to shrug off global concerns and bet on a stronger U.S. recovery.
The Commerce Department said on Friday that the Gross Domestic Product growth in the fourth quarter was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, up from its tally of 2.8 percent made in February and also slightly higher than market expectation.
Strong corporate earnings also gave Wall Street a boost. Oracle' s shares rose to a then-year higher after the business software company's fiscal third-quarter profit soared 78 percent, with strong margins and a surge in licensing revenue.
Accenture rose nearly 5 percent, one of the biggest winners in tech stocks, after the technology outsourcing and consulting company raised its outlook.
Moreover, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Friday that the U.S. economic recovery was on solid ground. Therefore, it was unlikely that the Federal Reserve will extend its bond-buying stimulus program.