A look at highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks: Best monthly gain in a year
Despite a mixed performance on Friday, stocks booked the best monthly gain in a year, with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both rising more than 6 percent in July.
It was also the first positive month after declines in May and June.
Stocks were supported this month by strong quarterly financial results
from major U.S. companies. About 75 percent of the roughly 300 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far have beat analysts' estimates.
But the earnings optimism has been tempered by ongoing concerns about the economy, particularly worries that tepid job growth will eventually undermine corporate profits.
"Even though earnings and guidance have been better than expected,
there's still skepticism in the market because jobs have been missing in
action," said Alec Young, an equity strategist at Standard & Poor's.
Friday's session was choppy, as investors weighed mixed reports on U.S.
economic growth, consumer confidence and regional manufacturing activity.
Treasurys rise on weaker GDP
Investors flocked back into Treasurys Friday after a weaker-than-expected government report on the economy, pushing the prices up on U.S. debt and driving yields down.
The benchmark 10-year note rose 25/32 to 105-2/32, with a 2.9 percent yield. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.
The 30-year bond rose 1-28/32 to 106-30/32 and its yield rose to 3.98 percent.
The 2-year note inched up 2/32 to 100-5/32 and yielded 0.56 percent, while the 5-year note edged up 12/32 to 100-24/32 and a 1.6 percent yield.
The Commerce Department sparked concerns about the recovery when it reported gross domestic product, the broadest measure of
the nation's economic activity, rose at a slower rate than expected in the
three months ended June 30.
Investors view Treasurys as a low-risk buy during times of economic
uncertainty, so the news increased the safe-haven appeal of the government bonds.
Numbers that continue to show the economic recovery may be losing steam continue to make a case for owning Treasurys, Kevin Giddis, managing director of fixed income at Morgan Keegan, said in a note to investors.
– CNNMoney.com reporters Annalyn Censky and Ben Rooney contributed to this report.