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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stocks end higher as Mubarak steps down (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks finished a strong week at multi-year highs on Friday, as investors cheered the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) jumped 44 points, or 0.4%; S&P 500 (SPX) gained 7 points, or 0.6%; and Nasdaq (COMP) rose 19 points, or 0.7%.

After weeks of anti-government protests, Mubarak relinquished his power Friday, clearing up uncertainty about escalating tensions in the country.

"Mubarak stepping down was the right thing to do, and from the perspective of the U.S. economy and markets it eliminates that geopolitical risk and uncertainty," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.

While the resignation has sparked an initial burst of euphoria, worries about a peaceful transition are likely to weigh on the market in coming weeks, Orlando said.

Despite the ongoing tensions overseas, the three major U.S. indexes managed to book increases of more than 2% the past two weeks.

"Right now the momentum is so fueled to the upside, that all investors care about is the next uptick," said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading.

The dollar rose against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.
Fighting over Big Oil's $4 billion a year windfall

Oil for March delivery slumped $1.15 to settle at $85.58 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery slid $2.10 to settle at $1,360.40 an ounce.

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