- Associated Press - Friday, March 8, 2013

“It gives hope to those that say this rally isn’t just about the Fed, it’s about the economy recovering,” said Kinahan. “It’s giving people confidence that maybe the economy is turning the corner.”

The Dow is up 120 percent since reaching a 12-year low during The Great Recession. The index bottomed out almost exactly four years ago, on March 9, 2009, at 6,547. The S&P 500 has gained 129 percent since hitting its own bottom of 676 on the same date.

McDonald’s contributed the most to the Dow’s gains, rising $1.62, or 1.7 percent, to $98.71. The fast-food restaurant chain reported that a key sales figure fell 3.3 percent in February, but the decline wasn’t as bad as analysts were expecting.

H&R Block had the biggest percentage gain on the S&P 500, advancing $2.30, or 9.2 percent, to $27.28.

The company said late Thursday that its net loss widened because of a delay to the start of this year’s tax season. The stock got a boost, though, after CEO William Cobb said on a conference call that the company was winning market share, Barrington Research analyst Joe Janssen said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, rose to 2.06 percent from 2 percent Thursday. The yield is at its highest in 11 months.

Among stocks making big moves;

• Pandora gained $2.06, or 17.6 percent, to $13.79 after the Internet radio company issued a strong profit forecast and said its mobile business was improving. Pandora also said its CEO, Joseph Kennedy, would leave.

• Skullcandy fell $1.51, or 22.5 percent, to $5.21 after the headphone maker projected a big loss and a drop in sales for the current quarter. The company said this year’s results will likely be worse than in 2012.

• Foot Locker fell $2.52, or 7.1 percent, to $32.79 even after reporting that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped 28 percent. An extra sales week helped boost earnings, but analysts were expecting more.