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Stocks Mostly Lower After GDP Data

Jeremy Glaser

U.S. Market
Stocks were mostly lower this morning after GDP data.

Fourth-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 2.2% growth from an initial reading of 2.6% growth. Economists had expected the reading to be revised down to 2%. The decline as driven by changes to business inventory levels and trade data.

Consumer sentiment fell in February from January levels according to the University of Michigan survey. The reading of 95.4 was down from 98.1 in the previous month, but up from a preliminary February reading of 93.6. One-year inflation expectations rose slightly to 2.8% from 2.5%.

The Chicago PMI, which measures the strength of the Midwest manufacturing sector, fell to 45.8 in February from 59.4 in January. The large decline brings the index to its lowest point since 2009.

At midday the Dow was down 0.1%, the Nasdaq was off 0.2% while the S&P 500 was flat.

Stocks on the Move
Shares of Gap (GPS) were up over 3.5% after reporting results late Thursday. Fiscal 2014 earnings per share grew 10% constant currency on 3% constant currency sales growth (with flat comparable sales). Guidance for 2015 earnings per share of $2.75-$2.80 implies earnings will be down about 3.5% at the midpoint. But included in this guidance was a $0.16 negative impact from foreign exchange rates and a $0.13 headwind due to the West Coast port situation and slower Gap turnaround.

Foreign Markets
European markets were mixed today. The FTSE 100 was flat, while the Paris CAC and Germany’s DAX were up 0.8% and 0.7% respectively.

Asian shares were also mixed. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.1% while the Hang Seng was off 0.3%.