Associated Press
Specialist Michael O'Connor, left, calls out prices for Home Depot shares on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013.

NEW YORK — Strong earnings from big U.S. companies helped push the stock market mostly higher in early trading Friday.

The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose six points, or a third of a percent, to 1,738, in the first hour of trading. The S&P 500 index was pushing further into record territory a day after closing at an all-time high.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped nine points to 15,360. The Nasdaq composite was up 30 points, or 0.8 percent, at 3,892.

General Electric, Morgan Stanley and Google all rose after reporting higher earnings than financial analysts were expecting. Google topped $1,000 a share for the first time.

Investors are also encouraged by a rebound in Chinese economic growth in the latest quarter. The Chinese government reported that the world's second-largest economy grew by 7.8 percent in the three months ending in September.

General Electric rose 52 cents, 2 percent, to $25.20. That is the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, when some investors doubted the company could survive intact. After backing out costs from shedding its media and banking operations, the industrial products maker earned 40 cents per share in the third quarter versus 35 cents per share analysts expected.

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Morgan Stanley reported third-quarter earnings nearly doubled on strong results in its stock sales and trading business. It reported net income of 50 cents per share before an accounting charge, compared with 28 cents per share in the same period a year earlier. Financial analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 40 cents.

Google jumped $113.62, or 13 percent, to $1,002.41 after reporting a 36 percent increase in earnings after the stock market closed Thursday. An erosion in Google's ad pricing was more than offset by a big increase in the frequency of clicks on Google's ads.

Investors are awaiting a flood of earnings reports early next week, including McDonalds on Monday and Boeing and Caterpillar on Wednesday and Ford on Thursday.