Stocks rise for second week, thanks to bank-action hopes

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks on Friday climbed to their first back-to-back weekly gain in more than a month, on optimism for action by global central banks to stabilize markets if needed after Greek elections.

“It’s startling to see it move higher on the amazing amount of uncertainty that surrounds this Greek election Sunday,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives with the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

“This market has held up remarkably well on the specter of more quantitative easing, whether it’s an official QE3 type of announcement or an extension of Operation Twist” — the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program — he added.

Up 1.7 percent for the week, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.26 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,767.17.

The S&P 500 index climbed 13.74 points, or 1 percent, to 1,342.84, up 1.3 percent from the week-ago close.

The Nasdaq composite added 36.47 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,872.80.

Friday marked the first back-to-back weekly rises for the Dow and S&P since April, and for the Nasdaq since the end of March.

Crude for July delivery gained 12 cents to end at $84.03 a barrel.

U.S. data Friday illustrated slowing global growth, with the nation’s industrial output weakening in May and with a gauge of manufacturing activity in the New York region slumping in June.

“The industrial production numbers weren’t good at all; neither were New York manufacturing. Part of the problem is the dollar has risen against the euro, that hurts exports,” said Frederick.

Facebook stock sees gain for first time since IPO

NEW YORK – Facebook’s stock closed with a gain for the week for the first time since its initial public offering a month ago.

The stock climbed $1.72, or 6.1 percent, to close at $30.01 on Friday. That’s up 10.8 percent for the week, though it’s still down 21 percent from its IPO price of $38.

Also on Friday, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Bret Taylor, announced that he is leaving the company to work on a startup. Taylor said on his Facebook timeline that he’s “sad to be leaving, but I’m excited to be starting a company with my friend Kevin Gibbs.”

Taylor joined Facebook in 2009 when the company bought FriendFeed, the Internet company where he was working at the time.

Burger King planning 1,000 more restaurants in China

NEW YORK – Burger King is setting its sights on China.

The world’s second largest hamburger chain says it will open 1,000 restaurants in the country over the next five to seven years. It’s the largest multi-unit development deal in Burger King’s history. There are currently just 63 Burger King restaurants in China.

McDonald’s Corp. has more than 1,400 restaurants in the country.

Burger King, which has more than 12,500 restaurants worldwide, said Friday that its China expansion is a joint venture with the Kurdoglu family, which runs 450 Burger King restaurants in Turkey, and private equity firm Cartesian Capital Group.

— From news service reports