The U.S. equity markets closed down on Wednesday. Stocks fell modestly lower thanks to the unexpected contraction in U.S. economic output, which reinforced the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue with its bond-buying program. Even with the generally positive run of corporate earnings, the 0.1 percent drop in GDP raised questions about whether the economy can absorb higher taxes and potential cuts in government spending.
On the commodities front, Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) climbed 0.48 percent to $98.04 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) climbing 0.86 percent to $1,677.00 per ounce, and Silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) climbing 0.84 percent to $32.02 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year T-Bill fell 0.002 points to 1.998 percent.
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) released its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday. The company reported earnings per share of $0.17, beating analysts expectations by 2 cents, and revenue of $1.59 billion, which was an increase of 40 percent from the year-ago quarter. Advertising sales accounted for 84 percent of that figure, a 41 percent increase year-over-year, while mobile accounted for 23 percent, up from the previous quarter’s 14 percent.