Nasdaq Posts 6th Straight Losing Session

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Blue chips notched modest gains in quiet trading Friday, buoyed by McDonald's (MCD) after it reported strong restaurant sales, but weakness in semiconductor stocks sent the technology-heavy Nasdaq down in its sixth straight losing session.

The Dow Jones industrial average (search) ended up 64.64 points, or 0.71 percent, at 9,191.09, according to the latest available data. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index (search) rose 3.47 points, or 0.36 percent, to 977.59. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index (search) ended off 8.15 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,644.03.

For the week, the Dow industrials edged up 0.41 percent. But the broader S&P 500 slipped 0.26 percent and the Nasdaq gave up 4.17 percent -- its biggest weekly percentage drop since mid-January. It was the second down week in a row for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Falling bond yields eased investors' concerns, traders said. The price of the benchmark new 10-year note rose slightly, sending its yield down to 4.28 percent Friday from 4.37 percent Thursday, the last day of the government's quarterly refunding effort.

Last week, the 10-year note's yield hit a 1-year high at 4.6 percent, raising worries that higher interest rates could stifle an economic recovery.

"Overall sentiment is positive," said Tim Heekin, director of trading at Thomas Weisel Partners. "People were concerned last week about the bond market action, but overall, they're getting comfortable with the bond market sell-off as it indicates the economy is starting to recover."

Higher interest rates are negative for stocks because they make borrowing more costly for consumers and businesses, crimping the chances of an economic recovery. While some data have hinted at a strengthening economy, analysts say a pickup in corporate spending is needed for a sustained rebound.

A stream of economic data this week showing a rise in productivity and a drop in weekly jobless claims also helped bolster sentiment.

Next week, investors will sift through a barrage of more indicators, including industrial production, consumer confidence and the consumer price index for more details on the recovery's progress.

"We've been trading in a tight range for the past six weeks and it's quiet since it's August. But people are still optimistic about coming back after Labor Day and looking forward to the third quarter," Heekin said.

McDonald's shares jumped after it said sales at hamburger restaurants open more than one year rose 4.2 percent in July for the third straight month. Its shares rose $1.83 or 8.3 percent, to $23.89 and led the Dow's percentage gains.

However, Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) rattled technology shares after it warned that its gross margins would be hurt by higher technology costs. Its shares fell $3.80 or 19.69 percent, to $15.50 and were among the Nasdaq's most active issues.

Nvidia's decline pressured shares of other chipmakers. Intel Corp., the world's top semiconductor maker, fell 41 cents or 1.71 percent to $23.58. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor index sank 3.11 percent.

Media stocks were a bright spot after Univision Communications Inc. (UVN), the No. 1 U.S. Spanish-language media company, forecast higher earnings and revenue in the current quarter. Shares of Univision rose 13.4 percent or $3.89 to $32.96, pushing the S&P broadcasting index up 0.86 percent.

Trading was moderate, with about 1.09 billion shares trading hands on the NYSE and roughly 1.3 billion shares traded on the Nasdaq. Advancers outpaced decliners on the Big Board by about 20 to 12. But on the Nasdaq, decliners edged out advancers by about 16 to 15.

The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, edged up 0.17, or 0.04 percent, to 453.94.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average finished 0.7 percent higher Friday. In Europe, France's CAC-40 advanced 1.1 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.3 percent and Germany's DAX index inched up 0.01 percent.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.