SHARES UP: Stocks rose Friday in quiet, pre-holiday trading. Traders were relieved that Congress struck a deal to extend a payroll tax break for workers and emergency unemployment benefits. They also are feeling more optimistic about the U.S. economy after strong economic reports earlier this week.
S&P BREAKS EVEN: The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 11 points at 1,265. It started the year at 1,257. The index turned positive for the year early Friday and stayed there all day.
HOLIDAY BREAK: Volume was about half of the recent average on the final trading day before Christmas. It was the slowest full day of trading so far this year. The market will be closed on Monday because Christmas falls on Sunday.