Duracell spin-off boosts Wall Street

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(Close): Wall Street rounded off a strong week on a high note thanks to some encouraging corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones index climbed 127.51 points, or 0.8%, to 16,805.41, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.7% to 4,483.72.

Technology giant Microsoft led the way, rising 2.5% after posting profits that beat expectations late on Thursday.

Procter & Gamble also performed well, adding 2.3% after announcing plans to spin off its Duracell battery division.

Pfizer and Goldman Sachs were also among the Dow's top gainers, both rising about 1.8%.

On the downside, only three companies lost ground - Visa, down 0.4%, Chevron, losing 0.2%, and IBM, 0.1% lower.