Stocks rise, extending best start since 1998

Rising consumer spending boosted stocks on Friday, and Wall Street closed its best first quarter since 1998.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66.22 points to close at 13,212.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5.19 points to close at 1,408.47. The Nasdaq composite barely moved, falling 3.79 points to close at 3,091.57.

For the quarter, the Dow posted an 8 percent gain and the S&P a 12 percent gain, the best for those indexes in 14 years. The gain was 19 percent for the Nasdaq, its best since 1991.

Oil prices rose again on Friday, up 23 cents in New York to $103.02 per barrel.

Nine out of 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose. The biggest-gaining category was energy stocks, although refiners fell because of the higher oil prices. Health care stocks rose, too, with two of the biggest gainers being health insurers UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. Technology stocks fell slightly.

Apple fell 1.7 percent after a company that makes its iPhones and iPads said it would effectively raise per-hour wages at its factories in China, suggesting that manufacturing prices could rise.

Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. rose 6.6 percent a day after the Canadian company said it would return to focusing on corporate customers and shake up its management to try to get profits growing again.

Corn prices surged 6.6 percent on news that supplies are tighter than previously thought. Higher corn plus higher oil prices points toward higher food prices. Grocer stocks fell: Supervalu Inc. was down 3.7 percent, and Safeway Inc. fell 1.3 percent.

Best Buy closed down 4.4 percent as investors continued to digest its plan to cut stores and staff as it shifts toward smaller stores in an effort to compete with online retailers.