Stocks Mildly Lower amid Data

U.S. stocks retreated in the early trading on Friday,  as Wall Street offered muted reaction to economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 34.10 points, or 0.23%, to 14,505.04. The S&P 500 was off 3.01 points, or 0.19%, at 1,560.22. The Nasdaq Composite shed 4.40 points, or 0.14%, to 3,254.53.

Consumer prices recorded their largest increase in nearly four years in February as the cost of gasoline surged, but there was little sign of a broad pickup in inflation to trouble the Federal Reserve. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.7 percent last month, the largest gain since June 2009, after being flat in January.

Industrial production rebounded in February after a weak report in the prior month on the back of stronger manufacturing and utility production, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Total production rose 0.7%.

Federal Reserve officials will spend much of a meeting next week debating the potential risks from the central bank’s stimulus plan, but Chairman Ben Bernanke has already signaled he believes the costs of inaction are even greater.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) ignored risks, misled investors, fought with regulators and tried to work around rules as it dealt with mushrooming losses in a derivatives portfolio, a Senate report alleged in a damning review of the largest U.S. bank’s management.

Boeing Co said its 787 Dreamliner jets could be airborne within weeks with a fortified power pack that would eliminate the risk of fire, confident the U.S. aviation authority would approve the redesigned battery soon.

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