- Markets post meagre gains but finish at record highs
- Consumer spending and confidence data miss forecasts
- Google and GM in focus
Dow Jones: 0.11%
S&P 500: 0.18%
US stocks finished broadly higher on Friday as traders shrugged off weak consumer spending and confidence figures to push indices to record highs.
"The 'Sell in May' fans will have been disappointed with the month so far, and with the European Central Bank and non-farms next week most traders will head into the weekend confident that renewed volatility lies ahead," said Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist at IG.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a rather subdued session just 0.1% higher, but finished at 16,717.17, ahead of the previous record set earlier in the month.
The S&P 500, meanwhile, extended gains to close up 0.2% at a new all-time high of 1,923.57.
The Nasdaq, however, fell 0.1% to 4,242.62.
In economic data today, the Commerce Department revealed that consumer spending fell by a seasonally-adjusted 0.1% in April, below the 0.2% growth expected by analysts. This followed a upwardly-revised 1% gain the month before, the largest increase since 2009.
Personal incomes increased by 0.3% last month as expected, following a 0.5% increase in March. April's increase was the smallest in 2014 so far.
Meanwhile, the final reading of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index for May disappointed. The figure was revised up from 81.8 to 81.9, but came in short of the 82.5 expected and well below the 84.1 recorded in April.
On a more positive note, regional manufacturing figures from Milwaukee and Chicago came in ahead of forecasts.
The data comes as Federal Reserve President Kansas City Esther George said the central bank should begin raising interest rates soon after it winds down its bond buying programme in response to improving economic conditions.
Google, GM in focus
Google declined as the company moved to comply with the European Union court's ruling this month that backs the right of citizens to have their online information deleted.
General Motors finished flat despite the automaker continuing to dominate headlines on the back of lawsuits associated with vehicle recalls.
Lions Gate Entertainment dropped sharply after the film production company disappointed analysts with weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Profits fell 70% on revenues that were 8% lower.
Retail chain Express was also a heavy faller after lowering its guidance for full-year earnings.
Mining stocks were mostly lower on Friday amid falling metal prices and concerns over a slowdown in China. US Steel and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold finished in the red.