Dow 10-Day Winning Streak in Jeopardy


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The Dow fell solidly into the red Friday, putting it at risk of snapping its longest winning streak since 1996. Meanwhile, the S&P pulled further from its all-time high.

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Today's Markets

As of 3:20 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46.4 points, or 0.32%, to 14493, the S&P 500 dipped 4.5 points, or 0.29%, to 1559 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 14.1 points, or 0.44%, to 3245.

The blue-chip averaged climbed for its tenth session in a row Thursday, hitting a record closing high for the eighth-straight session. However, those record highs fell at least somewhat out of view Friday.

Consumer Sentiment Data Disappoint 

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on consumer sentiment dropped to 71.8  in early March from 77.6 in February, hitting the lowest level since December 2011. Economist had been expecting an increase to 78. The consumption sector is the biggest component of U.S. gross domestic product, so the data often have an outsize impact on the market. There have been concerns that high gasoline prices, coupled with the payroll tax hike that went into effect in January, would hurt retail sales.

The Labor Department said consumer prices climbed 0.7% in February from January as gasoline prices surged 9.1% in their biggest jump since June 2009. Excluding the more volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices increased 0.2%. Economists expected the headline number to increase 0.5% and the core to rise 0.2%.

The Federal Reserve's industrial production gauge ticked up 0.7% in February from January, topping expectations of a 0.4% increase. However, a separate report from the New York Federal Reserve showed the pace of the expansion in the regional manufacturing sector cooling slightly in March. The Empire State gauge fell to 9.24 from 10.04, compared to expectations of a shallower fall to 10.

Fed OKs Most Bank Capital Plans

After the closing bell Thursday, the Federal Reserve released its review of the capital plans submitted by the nation's largest banks. Most received a green light, with J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) receiving a conditional non-objection, and BB&T (NYSE:BBT) and Ally Financial getting rejections.

The release prompted a slew of news on dividends and share buybacks. Indeed, all four of America's biggest banks by assets, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), revealed share repurchase plans or said they would unveil details on buybacks later.

In commodities, oil prices rose 42 cents, or 0.45%, to $93.45 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 0.72% to $3.164 a gallon. Gold climbed $1.90, or 0.12%, to $1,593 a troy ounce.

On the European front, the European Council, which represents European Union heads of state, was meeting for the second day. Headlines from the meeting often impact European markets and the euro.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 slumped 0.69% to 2726, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.61% to 6490 and the German DAX fell 0.19% to 8043.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.5% to 2727 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged lower by 0.38% to 22533.

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