Investors Go Gaga Over Google

Google shares soared 8% Friday after the search giant once again trounced Wall Street estimates.

Google shares gained more than $33 to close near $460, just $15 from the stock’s all-time high, after the company once again shone in a quarter when rival Yahoo failed to live up to Wall Street’s expectations.

Google’s big gains didn’t translate to the rest of the market, which ended mixed on a number of disappointing earnings reports, most notably Caterpillar , which shaved more than 70 points off the Dow with a 15% plunge.

The Nasdaq ended up slightly despite big earnings-related drops in shares of SanDisk , Rambus and Broadcom .

California Micro , Computer Programs and Systems , Informatica and also fell on their results.

Earnings gainers included Xilinx , Synaptics and SiRF .

Earnings season will continue next week, with a resurgent AT&T , Amazon , Lucent , Sun and Microsoft among the names reporting. The Federal Reserve will also meet next week.

The Nasdaq added 1 to 2342, the S&P 500 tacked on 1 to 1361, and the Dow slipped 9 to 12,002. Volume declined to 2.58 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.93 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-14 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 57% on the NYSE, and 47% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 197-10 on the NYSE, and 138-37 on the Nasdaq.

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