Longest Dow winning streak since 1996 ends

A board on the floor of the New

A board on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the S&P 500 index Thursday in Manhattan. March futures and options are due to expire on Friday, which could bring some volatility. (March 14, 2013) (Credit: AP )

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U.S. stocks fell Friday, ending the longest winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average in nearly 17 years.

The Dow dropped 25.03 points to 14,514.11. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.16 percent, to 1,560.70. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.3 percent, to 3,249.07.

The S&P 500 closed just five points below its all-time closing high of 1,565, reached in October 2007. On Thursday the Dow closed out a 10-day winning streak, its longest since November 1996.

The string of wins pushed the Dow up 484.65 points, or 3.4 percent, to a Thursday close of 14,539.14. The index's closing price on Feb. 28, just before the rally began, was 14,054.49.

Trading Friday was tentative because investors fear that rising inflation will cause the Federal Reserve to retreat from policies aimed at boosting markets. The government said that consumer prices increased in February at the fastest pace in more than three years.

The increase was driven by a spike in gas prices; the core index, which excludes the volatile energy and food categories, increased more modestly. But both figures rose 2 percent compared with a year earlier, enough to get investors' attention, said Peter Tchir, who runs the hedge fund TF Market Advisors.-- AP

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