Dow Snaps 10-Day Rally, Preview Of Next Week's Economic Calendar

Category: Markets / Finance / Mar 15, 2013 5:07PM EDT
Wall Street edged lower on Friday, snapping the Dow Jones industrial average's longest winning streak in over 16 years. The S&P 500 ended almost 5 points away from its 2007 record closing level. Consumer sentiment in March tumbled to its lowest level since December 2011, according to a University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters survey released Friday.The survey said the decline was mostly due to budget conflicts in Washington, as well as continuing fears about the U.S. job market. Friday's session was also hit with 'quadruple witching,' a term traders use to describe the final trading day before four types of future and options contracts expire. 'Quadruple witching' can lead to increased trading volume and volatility as investors buy or sell shares to offset expiring positions. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is holding one of its eight regularly scheduled meetings March 19-20, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak following their meeting at 2:30pm Eastern Wednesday. Also on the agenda is Britain's annual budget, and recent mixed economic data out of the UK has fueled triple-dip recession fears. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI slipped 25.03 points, or 0.17 percent, to 14,514.11 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX shed 2.53 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,560.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC dropped 9.86 points, or 0.30 percent, to end at 3,249.07. For the week, the Dow rose 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq gained just 0.15 percent.