Stocks mixed as data, earnings and oil mulled

U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday, with energy leading gains as U.S. crude rose more than 3 percent and data had the cost of living falling by the most in half a dozen years and consumer sentiment coming in better than expected.

Intel (INTC) turned lower after the maker of computer chips reported quarterly results; Goldman Sachs Group (GS) also fell after the investment bank reported a 7 percent decline in quarterly profit.

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The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index climbed to 98.2 from a final 93.6 December reading.

The consumer-price index declined 0.4 percent in December following a 0.3 percent fall the month before, the Labor Department reported.

A third report had factory production slowing in December, up 0.3 percent versus a 1.3 percent increase in output in November.

“All in all, there is nothing in these numbers that suggests that the market will move hard one way or another,” Kevin Giddis, head of fixed income capital markets at Raymond James, emailed of Friday’s economic reports.

Trading in a 79-point range on either side of neutral, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) was lately off a point at 17,319.91.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) added 3.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,995.91, with energy leading gains and industrials pacing losses among its 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq (^IXIC) gained 7.36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,578.18.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks fell for a fifth day, with the S&P 500 finishing below 2,000 for the first time in a month, as crude prices fell, large U.S. banks reporting disappointing results, and Switzerland’s central bank unexpectedly gave up its minimum exchange rate.

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