US Stocks Decline on Economic Data

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US Stocks Decline on Economic Data

US stocks closed lower on Friday as data showed US economic growth had slowed more than expected in Q4, but the S&P 500 posted its best monthly performance from October 2011.

According to Reuters, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.45% or 81.33 points to 18,133.09 while the S&P 500 lost 0.3% or 6.25 points to 2,104.49. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.49% or 24.36 points to 4,963.53.

Shares of Coca-Cola, which took a stake of 16.7% in Monster Beverage last year, traded more than 2% higher. Monster reported after the bell on Thursday that it earned 72 cents per share for the latest quarter, 13 cents above the expectations, while sales were significantly above expectations.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank was quoted by CNBC as having said, “I think it’s a quiet day in markets today, the GDP a slight disappointment, and the market’s responding appropriately.”

Q4 GDP was revised to indicate a growth of 2.2%. Analysts expected a 2.1% growth after the final reading of 5% in Q3.

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group said, “We’re two thirds done with the first quarter. The fourth quarter is old news. GDP should have no relevance on today’s market.”

Consumer sentiment for February came i at 95.4 beating the expectations but lower from the 98.1 of January.

In a note, Boockvar added, “Neither sentiment or the home sale one should have any market impact today. European Central Bank quantitative easing and whether ‘patient’ comes out of the mid March Federal Open Market Committee’s statement are the sole focus over coming weeks.”

Asian markets were mixed on Friday after an uprising lead from Wall Street. European markets closed higher ahead of QE.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com