US STOCKS-Wall St dips, JPMorgan drags on Dow and S&P

Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:55am EDT

* JPMorgan drops on Senate report, Fed findings

* S&P 500 hovers 4 points below record closing high

* Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P 500 off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq off 0.2 pct

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Friday, weighed by a decline in JPMorgan Chase after a one-two punch of bad news for the bank, though the S&P 500 remained in sight of record levels.

The S&P 500 was roughly 4 points away from its record closing high after failing to end above that level on Thursday.

Friday morning's dip also brought the Dow's 10-day winning streak to an end. Still, investors could use the pause to consolidate bets before pushing the market higher again, said Cam Albright, director of asset allocation at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, in Wilmington, Delaware.

"I don't think that one or two days' movement is really going to change the underlying momentum of this market, which I still think is pretty strong at this point," Albright said.

JPMorgan was the biggest drag on both the Dow and S&P 500, falling 2 percent to $49.98.

The Federal Reserve told JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc that they must fix flaws in how they determine capital payouts to shareholders, though it still approved their plans for share buybacks and dividends.

A Senate report alleged that JPMorgan had ignored risks, misled investors, fought with regulators and tried to work around rules as it dealt with mushrooming losses in a derivatives portfolio. A former top JPMorgan official told lawmakers on Friday she was not to blame for the losses.

In contrast, Goldman shares recovered from early weakness to gain 0.6 percent to $154.94. The stock of rival Bank of America rose 3.2 percent to $12.50. The S&P financial sector index edged up 0.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 26.59 points, or 0.18 percent, to 14,512.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged down 2.15 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,561.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 6.38 points, or 0.20 percent, to 3,252.55.

Market volatility may be increased due to 'quadruple witching' - the quarterly settlement and expiration of four different types of March equity futures and options contracts. Expiration can lead to greater volume and volatility as players adjust or exercise derivatives positions.

Data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed investors in U.S.-based funds poured $11.26 billion of new cash into stock funds in the latest week, the most since late January.

A busy day of economic reports reinforced investors' view that the economic recovery has momentum to it. Manufacturing output bounced back in February, though the pace of manufacturing growth in New York state cooled slightly in March and consumer sentiment fell.

Consumer prices registered their biggest increase in nearly four years as the cost of gasoline rose. But a smaller gain in the core U.S. Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, left the door open for the Federal Reserve to continue its bond-buying program, which has contributed to the stock market's rally.

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