March 11 - Summary of business headlines: The Dow closes at a record for the fifth consecutive day and the S&P 500 is just points away from setting a new peak; BlackBerry readies U.S. lauch of z10; Dick's Sporting falls after weather miscue; Icahn looks at Dell's books. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Dow climbs to another record close as the market enjoys an uninterrupted seven-day rise. Eyes now turn to the S&P 500. A five-point gain puts it less than 10 points from eclipsing the record close of 1,565 set October, 2007. Monday's gains reversed a weak start brought on by tepid economic data out of China, the world's second largest economy. But those concerns were short-lived with the volatility index, Wall Street's fear gauge, tumbling to its lowest since April 2007. A few sell-offs are expected along the way, but this bull market is set to continue as the U.S. economic recovery continues, and central banks prime the pump, according to veteran investors David Dreman. SOUNDBITE: DAVID DREMAN, CHAIRMAN, DREMAN VALUE MANAGEMENT (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Every country, major country in the world is printing currency. And the Federal Reserve is buying huge amounts of U.S. bonds, so this has always been inflationary." BlackBerry is making good on its plan to launch the long-awaited z10 smartphone in the first quarter. The smartphone is already on sale in other countries, and AT&T will begin selling it in the U.S. on March 22. No word yet on when Verizon, the biggest U.S. carrier will. BlackBerry is trying to recover after ceding massive ground to Apple and Samsung. Toronto-based shares of BlackBerry jump nearly 14 percent. On the flip side, Dick's Sporting Goods slumped roughly 11 percent. The retailer mis-read weather patterns this winter, resulting in the wrong product mix on shelves. Lance Armstrong's doping admission also hurt demand for products related to the disgraced athlete. Dell has agreed to give activist shareholder Carl Icahn a look at its financial records. This comes less than a week after Icahn joined a crowd of investors opposed to Michael Dell's plans to take the company he founded private. In Europe, A downgrade of Italy's debt late Friday held stocks back on Monday, but markets finished off the lows of the day.