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Colleen Sheeren
Corporate Communications, Inc.
(312) 283-2375

U.S. stocks waver narrowly amid data, earnings

U.S. stocks fluctuated between small gains and losses in the morning session Friday, as investors digested the newly-released economic data as well as corporate earnings reports.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.14 points, or 0.04 percent, to 20,926.41. The S&P 500 lost 0.86 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,380.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 0.31 point, or 0.01 percent, to 5,900.45.

U.S. industrial production was unchanged in February following a 0.1 percent decrease in January, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. In February, manufacturing output moved up 0.5 percent for its sixth consecutive monthly increase.

"The January and February manufacturing gains mark the best two-month performance in three years, reinforcing recent signs that domestic manufacturing is rebounding from recent lows as the global economy stabilizes and the dollar' s rapid run-up dissipates," said Sophia Kearney-Lederman, an economic analyst at FTN Financial.

Meanwhile, the preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment for March rose to 97.6 from 96.3 in February, said the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment on Friday.

In corporate news, shares of Tiffany jumped over 3 percent in the early trading Friday after the company posted better than expected quarterly results.

Before Friday's opening bell, the jewelry retailer reported its financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter ending on Jan, 31, 2017. Its worldwide net sales rose 1 percent in the fourth quarter, while net earnings per diluted share declined 2 percent in the same period.

Investors also kept a close eye on the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, which kicks off in Baden-Baden, Germany, Friday.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks pared early gains to close mixed as investors continued to assess the impacts of the Fed's rate hike decision.

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