By Dow Jones Business News, March 15, 2013, 03:21:00 PM EDT
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks retreated Friday, jeopardizing the longest advance by the Dow Jones Industrial
Average in more than 16 years and containing the S&P 500 just as it neared its record close.
"The market is looking for any excuse to take a breather. We've been heading up for a time, so this is just a pause.
You can't go up all the time, just like you can't go down all the time," said Richard, or Chip, Cobb, a portfolio
manager at BMT Asset Management in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
On the run after a 10-session advance, its longest win streak in more than 16 years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
(DJI) fell 45.59 points, or 0.3%, to 14,493.55, positioning it for a 0.7% weekly gain.
A day after closing within two points of the all-time closing high of 1,565.15 hit in October 2007, the S&P 500 index
(SPX) on Friday fell 4.10 points, or 0.3%, at 1,559.08, shaving its gain from the week-ago close to 0.5%.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) shed 12.57 points, or 0.4%, to 3,246.40, leaving it 0.1% higher for the week.
Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ) rose 4.4% after the Federal Reserve OK'd its share-buyback plan.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) fell 2.3% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ( GS ) turned 0.5% higher after the Fed approved
their capital plans but also asked them to resubmit new ones in six months.
Separately, a Senate probe determined J.P. Morgan overlooked risk and misled investors in dealing with escalating
losses stemming from bad bets on derivatives.
Shares of DirecTV ( DTV ) rallied 5.3% a day after the provider of satellite TV withdrew from the bidding for the
Brazilian phone and Internet unit of Vivendi SA.
For every two shares rising roughly three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 845 million shares traded as of
3:05 p.m. Eastern.
Composite volume topped 3.1 billion.
Increased volume expected
The final day of the week also brought quadruple-witching, which refers to the third Friday of every March, June,
September and December. On these days, market-index futures, market-index options, stock options and stock futures
expire, often bringing on increased volatility and volume.
"At the NYSE alone, 500 million shares traded by 10 a.m. On a typical day, that hovers around 100 million shares so
it's almost five times the activity," said Lou Pastina, head of NYSE floor trading operations
"So that's typical of a quad, but higher than a normal day. And that will probably repeat itself at the close, so
there will be strong volume at the close," he added.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold concluded a second week of gains, with the front month March futures
contract (GCH3) over the past two weeks rising $15.90, or 1%, at $1,592.50 an ounce. The more active April contract
(GCJ3) finished Friday's session at $1,592.60 an ounce.
Already lower, equities fell further after the release of a gauge of consumer sentiment. The University of Michigan-
Thomson Reuters index fell to an initial March reading of 71.8 from a final 77.6 in February.
The morning's data also included consumer prices rising 0.7% in February and a gauge of manufacturing in the New York
region that was little changed in March.
"For now, inflationary pressures appear to remain in an acceptable range, despite edging slightly higher. Although
significant headwinds for the consumer and the global economy persist, recent data suggests that the U.S. consumer has
been surprisingly resilient in recent months," noted Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial
"Whether that resilience will continue to dissipate in the months ahead in the face of those headwinds remains the
biggest question," he added.
Industrial production rebounded in February, rising 0.7% after a 0.1% drop in January.
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