NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks headed higher Friday after the government said the economy grew at a faster pace than expected at the end of last year. Technology shares rose after business software giant Oracle Corp. posted higher earnings.
The Commerce Department said that gross domestic product rose at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2010. That's slightly better than economists expected and higher than the estimate made last month.
Oracle rose 3.5 percent after reporting a 78 percent jump in income late Thursday. The database software maker credited new software license sales and the benefit of three full months of revenue from Sun Microsystems, a company it acquired last year.
Accenture Plc rose 6 percent. The consulting firm's quarterly earnings jumped 22 percent on stronger revenue. Both its income and revenue beat analysts' expectations.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,252. The Dow is now higher for the month, after falling as low as 11,613 on March 13.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9, or 0.7 percent, to 1,318. The Nasdaq composite rose 25, or 0.9 percent, to 2,761.