Wall Street slips on weak
GDP data, but indexes rise in April
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[April 29, 2017]
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks edged lower on
Wall Street on Friday after data showing the U.S. economy grew at its
weakest pace in three years in the first quarter gave traders a reason
to cash recent gains.
Major indexes closed up for April, however, with the Nasdaq up for six
consecutive months, the longest streak in nearly four years.
Gross domestic product grew 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 in inventories. The economy grew
at a 2.1 percent pace in the fourth quarter.
"GDP was a little bit light and that may be the cause of some weakness
today," said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital
Management in Dallas.
Citi Research's gauge on U.S. economic data surprises <.CESIUSD> turned
negative for the first time since November.
The soft growth data is bad news for the Trump administration after
campaign promises to significantly boost growth and adds to concerns
among some in the market that lower taxes, deregulation and increased
government spending - the main reasons for a post-election rally - will
be, at the least, delayed.
"We saw the rally fade quite a bit into the last part of the first
quarter," said Bradshaw. "I think you're going to have to see some
(legislation) within the next couple of months, otherwise the market
will become disenchanted. So far it's been all talk, no show."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 40.82 points, or 0.19
percent, to close at 20,940.51, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 4.57 points, or
0.19 percent, to 2,384.2 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 1.33
points, or 0.02 percent, to 6,047.61.
For the week, the Dow rose 1.9 percent, the S&P gained 1.5 percent and
the Nasdaq rose 2.3 percent. During April, the Dow gained 1.3 percent,
the S&P rose 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 2.3 percent.
The Nasdaq was buoyed Friday by gains in Amazon and Google's parent
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in
New York, U.S., April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Amazon <AMZN.O> rose as much as 3.4 percent to a life high of $949.59, and ended
up 0.7 percent at $924.99, while Alphabet <GOOGL.O> gained as much as 5 percent
to a record of $935.90 and closed up 3.7 percent at $924.52 after their
quarterly results beat estimates.
Combined earnings reports and expectations for S&P 500 companies show profits
are estimated to have risen 13.6 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 have weighed on investors' minds.
Intel <INTC.O> fell 3.4 percent to $36.15 after the company reported
lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.
Baidu <BIDU.O> ended down 4.1 percent at $180.23 after the Chinese internet
company forecast second-quarter revenue largely below estimates.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.59-to-1 ratio; on
Nasdaq, a 1.76-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite
recorded 103 new highs and 44 new lows.
About 6.94 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges on Friday, above the
6.55 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in
Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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