Stocks end longest advance in more than 16 years Friday

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks retreated Friday, ending 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 “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 fell 25.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,514.11, leaving it with a 0.8 percent 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 Friday fell 2.53 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,560.70, shaving its gain from the week-ago close to 0.6 percent.

The Nasdaq composite shed 9.86 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,249.07, leaving it 0.1 percent higher for the week.

Bank of America Corp. rose 3.8 percent after the Federal Reserve approved its share-buyback plan.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 1.9 percent and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. gained 0.5 percent after the Federal Reserve approved their capital plans but also asked them to resubmit new ones in six months.

Separately, a Senate probe determined JPMorgan overlooked risk and misled investors in dealing with escalating losses stemming from bad bets on derivatives.

February inflation modest outside gain in fuel costs

WASHINGTON – A spike in gas prices drove a measure of U.S. consumer costs up in February by the most in more than three years. But outside the gain in fuel costs, inflation was mostly modest.

The consumer price index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month from January, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the biggest monthly rise since June 2009.

Still, three-fourths of the increase in the index reflected a 9.1 percent surge in gas prices. That was also the largest monthly gain since June 2009. Gas prices had fallen in the previous four months. Since last month’s increase, gas prices have started to fall.

Boeing sees 787 jet flights resuming ‘within weeks’

TOKYO – Boeing said Friday that it sees commercial flights of its grounded 787 jets resuming “within weeks” even though it has not pinpointed the cause of battery overheating that grounded the planes.

Boeing Co. Chief Project Engineer Michael Sinnett outlined a fix centered on a new design for the lithium-ion battery system that has layers of safeguards to prevent overheating and measures to contain malfunctions.

The 787 fleet was grounded worldwide by the Federal Aviation Administration, its counterparts in Japan and other nations in January, after a battery fire in a Dreamliner parked in Boston and an overheated battery that led to an emergency landing of another 787 in Japan.

— From news service reports