By Tanya Agrawal
U.S. stocks were slightly lower in late morning trading on Friday after data showed the economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter.Gross domestic product increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate, below the 1.2 percent rise estimated by economists, as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less on inventories.The economy grew at a pace of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter."The GDP numbers today are questioning the robustness of the economy and throughout the week we've seen the impact of doubts whether the Trump administration can implement its fiscal policies," said Mohannad Aama, managing director of Beam Capital Management in New York.The Nasdaq Composite opened at a record high, propelled by gains in Amazon.com and Google-parent Alphabet, and is on track to post gains for the sixth straight month. Amazon rose as much as 3.4 percent to a life high of $949.59, while Alphabet gained as much as 4.6 percent to a record of $932.73 after their quarterly results beat estimates.The S&P 500 and the Dow are also set to end the month in positive territory as the corporate earnings season continues to impress.
Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 12.4 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.While strong earnings have kept the market at or near record levels, persistent geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea and doubts whether the Trump administration will be able to pass its tax and healthcare plans in Congress have weighed on investors' minds. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
At 11:17 a.m. ET (1517 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 33.35 points, or 0.16 percent, at 20,947.98, the S&P 500 was down 3.76 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,385.01.The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.66 points, or 0.03 percent, at 6,047.28.Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the real estate index's 0.88 percent fall leading the decliners.Intel fell 3.8 percent to $36 after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue. The stock was the biggest drag on the three indexes.
Oil majors Exxon and Chevron were up about 1 percent after the two companies reported quarterly profits above expectations.Starbucks fell 3.4 percent to $59.21 after the world's biggest coffee chain cut its full-year profit target.Other data showed that the University of Michigan's final April consumer sentiment index was at 97, below analysts expectations of 98.Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,635 to 1,065. On the Nasdaq, 1,639 issues fell and 918 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed 33 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 21:56 PM