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Stocks Post Best Weekly Gain this Year; Nasdaq at 13-Year High

Stocks rose on Friday, posting their best weekly gain so far this year, with the Dow putting on over 100 points and the Nasdaq hitting a 13-year high as a key economic measure showed consumer sentiment was better than expected last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 126 points higher, boosted by ExxonMobil and Cisco. The S&P 500 rose 8 points and the Nasdaq gained 3 points for a 13-year high at 4,244.03

On the economic front, consumer sentiment was unchanged in early February at 81.2, according to the preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan. Analysts polled by Reuters expected a reading of 80.6.

Export prices rose 0.2 percent, while import prices ticked up 0.1 percent. Industrial production declined 0.3 percent in January, against an expectations for a gain of 0.3 percent.

Economists trimmed their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the first quarter of the year, with payroll expansion seen remaining somewhat subdued, but they expect the pace of activity to pick up in the second quarter.

Analysts see the economy growing at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the current quarter, down from a previous estimate of 2.5 percent, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's quarterly survey of 45 forecasters. Second-quarter growth was forecast to accelerate to 3.0 percent, up from a prior forecast of 2.9 percent.