US stocks end mixed amid GDP data

New York, Jan 28 (IANS) US stocks closed mixed with Nasdaq Composite Index eking out a new closing record, as investors digested the country’s economic growth as well as a batch of technical corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday fell 7.13 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 20,093.78. The S&P 500 lost 1.99 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 2,294.69, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5.61 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 5,660.78.

US real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, missing market consensus and slower than the 3.5 per cent increase from the previous three months, according to an advance estimate released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The Commerce Department attributed the slower growth to the fall in exports, an acceleration in imports and a slowdown in consumer spending.

“GDP rose just 1.6 per cent in 2016 as a whole, the weakest since 2011. With oil prices stable now and oil output rising again, 2017 GDP growth is likely to be 2.5 per cent even before any policy changes go into effect,” said Jay Morelock and Chris Low, economists at FTN Financial, in a joint note.

In corporate news, Microsoft reported that its quarterly GAAP revenue was $24.1 billion and quarterly diluted earnings per share was 66 cents.

Its shares jumped 2.35 percent to $65.78 apiece following the release of the better-than-expected quarterly reports Friday.

For the week, all three major indices posted solid gains, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq going up 1.3 percent, 1.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.