Stocks closed out their best week of the year with a modest rally led by defensive shares Friday as investors traded cautiously ahead of the weekend, when Spain is expected to request aid for its troubled banks.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished the day with a gain of 93 points.
For the week, the Dow rose 3.6 percent, the Nasdaq composite climbed 4 percent and the S&P 500 gained 3.7 percent to chalk up its best weekly gain of 2012.
Much of the market’s rise this week came from a big rally on Wednesday, when stocks scored their strongest day of the year on amid signs that Europe would move to help Spain's troubled banks.
"What's driving the market here is the belief we're in the final innings of approaching some form of a solution to contain the Spanish problem," said Robbert Van Batenburg, head of equity research at Louis Capital in New York. "I don't buy it, but maybe there's this understanding out there."
Analysts said the market was ripe for a rebound after a drop of more than 6 percent in May.
"Here is a real classic case of the market doing the opposite of what most people think," said Terry Morris, senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Co.
"The market is telling you that it was still oversold, but they don't want to play the high (volatility) names just in case something happens over the weekend."
European Union and German sources said eurozone finance ministers were to hold a conference call Saturday. Spain's expected request was an effort to stem the tide of worsening market turmoil.
Underscoring the impact of Europe's debt crisis, McDonald's reported a lower-than-expected rise in global same-store sales in May and warned austerity measures in Europe were taking a toll.
President Barack Obama said European leaders face an "urgent need to act" to resolve the region's financial crisis as the threat of a renewed recession there spells dangers for an anemic U.S. recovery.
Chesapeake Energy plans to sell its pipeline and related assets to Global Infrastructure Partners in three separate transactions worth more than $4 billion, as the company scrambles to plug an estimated $10 billion funding shortfall.
Chesapeake shareholders delivered a broad rebuke of the company's board, withholding support for two members up for re-election in the wake of a governance crisis and poor financial performance.