A final-hour rally by the Dow Jones Industrial Average limited the index’s fall for the week to just over 2 percent, while a more energetic late move by retail shares locked in the week’s declines at nearly 5 percent.

As lawmakers continued to hammer out details of a rescue plan for Wall Street, financial stocks absorbed the biggest failure in U.S. banking history – Thursday night’s Washington Mutual collapse and the subsequent takeover of some of its assets by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Meanwhile, Wachovia’s shares dropped before the bell as reports spread it was in early-stage merger discussions with Citigroup.

Still, the Dow ended the week with a flourish, rising 121.07 points, or 1.1 percent, to 11,143.13. That put its decline for the week at 2.2 percent, but left it with a better than 5 percent increase since the sharp falls of Sept. 17.

The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index also came on strong late in Friday’s session, ending the day up 1.2 percent at 375.69. That left it with a decline of 4.7 percent for the week but 0.5 percent ahead of its Sept. 17 level.

For the week, the WWD Composite Index was down 12.55 points to 993.59.

For more coverage, see Monday’s issue of WWD.