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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS
October 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM
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US stocks closed mixed on Friday as good corporate earnings were weighed against concerns over the dollar as G20 finance ministers held talks in South Korea in a bid to avert a "currency war".

The three key indexes nevertheless closed the week with gains, marking a three week winning streak as the Dow Jones neared its highest level since September 2008 on Thursday.

On Friday the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 14.01 points (0.13 percent) to 11,132.56 points in closing trade, while the broader S&P 500 index gained 2.82 points (0.24 percent) at 1,183.08 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq composite index was up 19.72 points (0.80 percent) to 2,479.39 points.

"The market is on hold, it is a day of rest," said analyst Peter Cardillo of Avalon Partners. "Everyone is just waiting to see what kind of communique will come out of the G20 meeting."

Most analysts doubted whether the meeting could lead to a substantial agreement on a thorny issue of currency values that has pitted the United States against China.

The US greenback has declined steadily in recent weeks amid increased expectations that the Federal Reserve will resume spending policies to boost the economy, effectively printing money.

In recent days, the market has moved in the opposite direction as the dollar, as expectations of easing measures boosted stocks.

In corporate news, shares of American Express declined 3.2 percent after the credit card giant reported on Thursday evening its profits topped one billion dollars in the last quarter, 71 percent more than in the same period last year.

Shortly before Friday's opening bell, US communications services provider Verizon said its profit dropped 25 percent in the third quarter from last year to 881 million dollars. Its share fell 1.7 percent.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, reported its profit rose 16 percent to 231 million dollars in the last quarter as its net sales increased 39 percent. Its shares were up two percent.

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