Stocks close at records, Boeing sinks

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U.S. stocks inched slightly higher Friday, but the slim gains were enough to send the Dow and S&P 500 to new record closing highs and the Nasdaq to the highest level in over a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose just 3 points to 15,464.30, the S&P 500 added 5 points, finishing at 1,680.19 and the Nasdaq rose 0.6% to close at the highest level since September 2000.

The Dow and S&P 500 shares were weighed down by a 5% slide in shares of Boeing (BA) following news that an unoccupied Dreamliner caught fire at London's Heathrow airport.

All three indexes finished sharply higher for the week, logging one of the best weekly performances of the year. The Dow climbed 2.2%, the S&P 500 jumped 3% and the Nasdaq rallied 3.5%.

Here are five things to take away from Friday's trading day:

1. Stocks in record territory: While both the Dow and S&P 500 have surpassed their previous record closing highs, they're still about 0.5% below the all-time trading-day highs reached in May.

U.S. stocks first soared back into record territory Thursday, as investors welcomed comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke who on Wednesday said monetary policy would remain "highly accommodative" for the foreseeable future.

The statement implied that the central bank would continue its massive program of quantitative easing, and helped soothe investors who have been whipsawed by tapering talk that began in late May.

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2. Consumers are still worried about the future: The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters' Consumer Sentiment Index for July declined slightly, and fell short of expectations.

While optimism about current conditions rose to the highest level since July 2007, the future expectations index fell sharply.

Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report on the producer price index, showing an increase of 0.8% in June. That's nearly triple the expected rise of 0.3% -- largely driven by a spike in gasoline prices.

Will Spitzer be NYC's activist investor?
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3. Banks earnings top forecasts: The first of the big banks reported their results Friday.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations, while revenue just barely beat forecasts. But the stock was only slightly higher as some of the profit gains came from accounting adjustments rather than strong growth in the underlying business.

Wells Fargo (WFC) shares rose 1.8% after the bank reported earnings and revenue that beat expectations.

Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are on tap to report results next week.

4. UPS tumbles on profit warning: Package delivery giant UPS (UPS) lowered its outlook for profit growth this year, sending shares down almost 6%.

The company, considered an economic bellwether along with rival FedEx (FDX), said "a slowing U.S. industrial economy drove revenue and operating profit below expectations."

Shares of FedEx also moved lower.

Also on the corporate front, Shares of WebMD (WBMD) surged more than 25% after the health information company announced preliminary results that showed better-than-expected earnings and revenue.

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5. China lowers growth projection? Investors became confused about China's growth projections after the country's finance minister signaled growth could be 7% for the year, below the government's official forecast of 7.5%. The Shanghai Composite index and the Hang Seng index both fell back after staging big run-ups earlier in the week. Japan's benchmark Nikkei index closed 0.2% firmer.

European markets ended the day mixed, with Germany's DAX and UK's FTSE 100 increasing, while France's CAC 40 declined.

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