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U.S. stocks close lower, ending winning streak

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks fell Friday, ending the longest winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average in nearly 17 years.

The Dow dropped 25 points to close at 14,514. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell two points to 1,560. The Nasdaq composite index dropped nine points to 3,249.

The Dow notched a 10-day winning streak through Thursday, its longest since November 1996.

Trading was tentative because investors fear that rising inflation will cause the Federal Reserve to retreat from policies aimed at boosting markets. The government said that consumer prices increased in February at the fastest pace in more than three years.

Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was above average at 4.9 billion shares.

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