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Wall Street pullback snaps Dow's 10-session string of gains

English.news.cn   2013-03-16 08:03:19            

NEW YORK, March 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks retreated on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapping a 10-session winning streak not seen since November 1996, as investors chose to sell off on disappointing consumer sentiment.

The blue-chip index fell 25.03 points, or 0.17 percent, to 14, 514.11. Before the dip, the Dow hadn't fallen in March and set record high for an eighth consecutive session.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index shed 2.51 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,560.70. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 9.86 points, or 0.30 percent, to 3,249.07.

However, for the week, the Dow still gained 0.8 percent, and the S&P 500 was up 0.6 percent while the Nasdaq inched up 0.1 percent.

The main stock indices opened lower, and then accelerated to drop after a joint survey by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the preliminary reading of U.S. consumer- sentiment index in March dropped to 71.8, the lowest level since December 2011.

The other economic data released on Friday were mixed. The Empire State Manufacturing Index in March stood at 9.2, slightly lower than 10.0 in February, turning positive for a second straight month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Friday.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index increased 0.7 percent in February, more than expected, the Commerce Department said Friday. However, the core CPI, excluding volatile food and energy components, increased 0.2 percent, in line with projections. The modest data left the door open for the Fed to sustain its quantitative easing, which has bolstered the stock rally.

Besides, industrial production for the United States grew 0.7 percent in February, according to the Federal Reserve, beating market estimates.

The equity market trimmed part of early losses in choppy trading as any dip in the stock market would provide buying opportunities for investors.

The consumer discretionary and staples sectors lagged in the main sectors of the S&P 500, dragged down by the downbeat consumer confidence.

Financial stocks performed in varied ways, one day after the Fed announced it had approved the capital plans of 14 financial institutions in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. Two other institutions received conditional approval, while the Fed objected to the plans of two firms.

Shares of Bank of America surged 3.96 percent to 12.59 dollars after the bank announced that it would buy back up to 5-billion-U. S.-dollars common stock.

American Express shares also added 1.16 percent to 66.14 dollars after the company said it planed to increase quarterly dividend by 15 percent and repurchase up to 4 billion dollars of common stock in 2013.

Goldman Sachs shares reversed early losses to close in green territory though the Fed required the investment bank to submit new plans to address weaknesses in its capital planning process.

Shares of J.P Morgan Chase dipped 1.98 percent to 49.99 dollars as the largest U.S. bank by assets was also required to resubmit capital distribution plans. In addition, the bank's former executive Ina Drew testified on Friday before a Senate panel on the 6-billion-dollar "London Whale" trading loss last year.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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