Friday, January 18, 2013 04:20 PM EST Strong finish to week for TSX RIM rocks index, again Canada's main stock index touched its highest level since late February on Friday, helped by a jump in Research In Motion shares after an influential analyst boosted his rating and price target on the company, days ahead of the launch of a new product line crucial to RIM's future. The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 50.96 points to end the day at 12,725.69 The Canadian dollar lost 0.63 cents to 100.83 cents U.S. Oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 61 cents, or 2.1%, to $29.94, while miner Goldcorp Inc advanced 12 cents to $36.88. RIM stock climbed $1.03, or 7%, to $15.71 after Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek lifted his stock rating on RIM to "buy" from "hold", adding to optimism about the make-or-break launch on January 30 of a line of smartphones powered by the company's new BlackBerry 10 software. Canadian National Railway was the biggest heavyweight gainer, rising 73 cents, or 0.8% to $94.52. On the economic beat, Statistics Canada reported this morning that manufacturing sales hiked 1.7% in November to $49.9 billion, a peak that figure hasn’t seen since last May. Sales rose in 12 of 21 industries, representing about two-thirds of the manufacturing sector in this country. What’s more, StatsCan reported that the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits in November edged down 4,500, or 0.8%, to 528,000, after little change in October. ON BAYSTREET The TSX Venture Exchange took on 2.17 points to 1,235.32 All but one of the 14 Toronto subgroups were on the upside Friday, led by information technology, up 2.4%, while telecoms gained 1% and global base metals picked up 0.8%. Only a 1.2% dive by consumer staples kept things from being unanimous. ON WALLSTREET U.S. stocks were mixed Friday as investors digested an equally mixed bag of corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 53.68 points to end the day at 13,649.70 The S&P 500 recovered 4.16 points to 1,485.10. The Nasdaq Composite stepped back 1.30 points to 3,134.71 Despite the lackluster day, all three major indexes are poised to end with a third straight week of gains. The Dow is poised for a 0.9% gain, while the S&P 500 is up 0.6% and the Nasdaq has added 0.1%. The Dow and S&P are on track to end the week at fresh five-year highs, heading into a long weekend. Markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. On Friday, a 7% drop in shares of Intel weighed on all three indexes a day after the chipmaker reported that quarterly profits fell 27% from a year earlier. Capital One was among the biggest losers on the S&P 500. Its shares fell more than 7% as the credit card lender and bank reported earnings that fell short of forecasts. On the flip side, General Electric rose 3.5% after the conglomerate issued an upbeat outlook and reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. GE was the biggest gainer on the Dow. Morgan Stanley was also a big winner, with shares rising almost 8% after the bank reported earnings that narrowly beat expectations. As mentioned off the top, it's been a mixed bag for earnings this week. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs issued strong reports, while investors were disappointed by Citigroup and Bank of America. Investors also monitored the ongoing troubles at Boeing, which has been in focus this week due to problems with its new 787 Dreamliners that prompted authorities around the world to ground the planes. Meanwhile, traders took in data showing deterioration in consumer sentiment since last month. The University of Michigan’s consumer survey index slipped to 71.3 in January from 72.9 in December. Prices on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note gained ground, lowering yields to 1.84% from Thursday’s 1.88%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. Oil prices subtracted six cents to $95.43 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices docked $6.20 to $1,684.60 U.S. an ounce.