Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises rose 8 cents, or 3.3%, to $2.53, while DR Horton rose 26 cents, or 2.7%, to $9.90.
The market's moves were jagged this week, with modest gains coming after big surges. Influential banking analyst Meredith Whitney got the market off to a roaring start on Monday after raising her view on Goldman, stoking hopes that financial companies would show more signs of healing.
But the market's response to Goldman's actual report the following day was somewhat subdued amid mixed economic data. Strong earnings and an upbeat forecast from Intel pulled more investors into the market on Wednesday, and hope for more good earnings from the technology sector stirred buying again on Thursday.
This week's upward move has temporarily halted a decline that began in mid-June as investors worried the 40% jump in stocks this spring was overdone. Analysts said it was a healthy sign that the market was taking a breather on Friday.
"I think it's very constructive that we're taking a pause here and not heading back down," said Richard Sparks, senior equities analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.
Sparks said it's too early to say whether this week will be representative of the rest of earnings season. Next week's large batch of reports includes Dow components Caterpillar, DuPont and Merck.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.66% from 3.58% late Thursday.
Oil prices rose $1.51 to $63.53 a barrel. The dollar was mixed, while gold prices rose.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 2.80, or 0.5%, to 519.22.
Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.6%, Germany's DAX index rose 0.4%, and France's CAC-40 added 0.6%. Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.6%.