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U.S. stocks lower on profit taking after data; Dow Jones down 0.28%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday, despite the release of positive U.S. economic reports, as investors locked in profits following the recent stock rally thanks to fresh optimism over a strengthening U.S. economic recovery

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.28%, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.30%, while the Nasdaq Composite index edged down 0.18%.

Official data showed that U.S. industrial production rose 0.7% in February, beating expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 0.1% fall the previous month.

In addition, the Empire State manufacturing index fell less-than-expected in March, ticking down to 9.2 from a reading of 10 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 8.4 this month.

A separate report showed that core consumer price inflation, which excluded food and energy, rose 0.2% in February after a 0.3% increase the previous month, in line with expectations.

Consumer price inflation rose 0.7% last month, more than the expected 0.5% increase, following a flat reading in January.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as shares in Citigroup retreated 0.97% and Goldman Sachs tumbled 1.36%, while JP Morgan plunged 2.92%. Bank of America overperformed on the other hand, rallying 2.56%.

Bloomberg reported earlier that JPMorgan paid Achilles Macris USD31.8 million in the two years before the firm piled up at least USD6.2 billion of losses on a portfolio he oversaw, more than his boss Ina Drew and among the most at the bank.

In addition, a Senate report outlined on Thursday JPMorgan's efforts to hide trading losses, which could ignite debate over whether the largest U.S. bank is too big to manage, adding pressure on CEO Jamie Dimon to surrender his role as chairman.

Separately, media reports revealed that Morgan Stanley, up 0.39% at the U.S. open, could be sued by Singapore's Hong Leong Finance in a New York court over claims it deceptively sold instruments designed to fail.

Google added to losses, shedding 0.39%, after Samsung Electronics challenged the U.S. company on its home turf, as it premiered its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which sports a bigger display and unconventional features such as gesture controls.

On the upside, Boeing gained 0.39% after the company expressed confidence that it could have its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets flying again in a matter of weeks.

Boeing unveiled its proposed fix for the aircraft's battery system that should eliminate the risk of fire.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 retreated 0.79%, France's CAC 40 tumbled 0.92%, Germany's DAX declined 0.38%, while Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.72%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.38%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.45%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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