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Stocks Are on Track for Third Straight Weekly Gain

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were slightly higher by midday Friday in a quieter end to the week as investors digested a range of earnings.

The S&P 500 was up 0.23%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.11%. Benchmark indexes were on track for their third straight weekly gain.

Consumer sentiment climbed to 92.1 in October, according to the University of Michigan, much higher than the final reading of 85.7 in September. Consumers appeared to have recovered from fears over the global economy and market instability. Economists had expected the measure to rise to 89.

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Industrial production declined 0.2% in September, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The reading was as economists had expected. August was revised to a 0.1% drop from a previous 0.4% decline. Capacity utilization dropped to 77.5% from 77.8% in August.

Industrial bellwether General...