NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average logging the second biggest weekly gain this year, as investors tried to digest a string of lackluster economic data and awaited the Federal Reserve 's policy meeting next week.
The Dow rose 75.42 points, or 0.49 percent, to 15,376.06 points. The S&P 500 increased 4.57 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,687.99 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.21 points, or 0.17 percent, to 3,722.18 points.
For the week, the blue-chip Dow rallied 3.0 percent, and the broader S&P 500 moved up 2.0 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ticked up 1.7 percent.
On the economic front, U.S. retail and food services sales for August edged up 0.2 percent from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Friday, falling short of the economists' forecast of gaining 0.4 percent.
The U.S. Producer Price Index for finished goods rose 0.3 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, prices for finished goods minus foods and energy remained unchanged in August.
Official data showed that U.S. manufacturers'and trade inventories advanced 0.4 percent in July from June, beating market consensus.
Besides, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment for September dropped to 76.8 from 82. 1 last month, missing market expectations and hitting the lowest level since April.
"It suggests after lackluster August data, the economy is likely still under pressure in September, as consumers may pull back spending," said Mei Li, an economic analyst at FTN Financial, commenting on the consumer sentiment index.
The tepid economic data came before the Fed's monetary policy meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to announce its plan to scale back the bond purchases program at the meeting.
"If next week's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting delivers the first tapering -- as we expect -- the Committee may feel compelled to do something in their communications to anchor rate hike expectations and prevent the market from conflating asset purchase decisions with overnight interest rate policy," Michael Feroli, JP Morgan chief U.S. economist, said Thursday.
In corporate news, microblogging site Twitter said Thursday that the company has confidentially submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, lost 0.91 percent to end at 14.16.
In other markets, U.S. oil prices fell as the United States and Russia had "constructive conversations" on Syria. Light, sweet crude for October delivery moved down 39 cents to settle at 108.21 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, Brent crude for October delivery climbed 15 cents to close at 112. 78 dollars a barrel.
Gold future for December delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 22 dollars to settle at 1,308.6 dollars per ounce. The gold ended the week with a loss of 5.6 percent.
The U.S. dollar retreated against major currencies as investors kept cautious ahead of the Fed's policy meeting next week. In late New York trading, the euro climbed to 1.3307 dollars from 1.3303 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound jumped to 1. 5879 dollars from 1.5812 dollars.