March 28 - Summary of business headlines: S&P 500 claims new territory with post-crisis record close; Cyprus calm after banks reopen; U.S. jobless claims, Midwest economy point to easing recovery; Boeing CEO expects 787 up sooner rather than later. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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On the final day of the first quarter - new records for the Dow and S&P 500.
The S&P 500 finally breached its pre-financial crisis record close, settling at 1569. The Dow set a historic peak too at 14,578.
And that wraps up the biggest first-quarter rally on Wall Street since 1998.
John Canally of LPL Financial says he won't be surprised if investors lose heart in coming months.
SOUNDBITE: JOHN CANALLY, INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, LPL FINANCIAL (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"The question is, are people confident enough in things like the economy, the economy in Europe. Are they confident enough that the housing revival is for real, that the labor market is for real? I think all those things add up and of course the wild card - things like Europe, and is China re-accelerating and of course what's the Fed going to do?"
Cyprus could provide a clue. Banks there closed for the day without chaos. There were fears there would be a run on the bank after financial institutions opened after being shut since last week as the country worked on an international bailout - but that was not the case.
Another answer comes by way of U.S. data. Jobless claims rose last week but not by enough to spark concern.
Business activity in the Midwest grew slower than expected this month.
And economic growth in the fourth quarter- revised higher for a second time.
Shifting gears- Boeing continues to try to convince the flying public that is 787 Dreamliner will be safe enough to begin flying again
CEO James McNerney is sure tests will convince the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the plane to fly sooner rather than later.
SOUNDBITE JIM MCNERNEY, CEO, BOEING (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I have a high degree of confidence that data will tell us and will tell the FAA, who are the decision makers here, that the fix is what we need it to be and we will get this airplane back in service in due time."
Investors don't seem to be buying it - with shares down in an up day for the rest of the market.
BlackBerry announced a surprise quarterly profit and was quick to make public it has shipped 1 million units of its new z10 smartphone. But subscriber numbers are still on the decline and that put the stock on the run.
Let's close out with Europe - stocks were up modestly across the board ahead of Good Friday closing in many markets around the world.
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