The markets moved from early-morning losses, to modest gains, to a decided loss on Wednesday. Relatively strong earnings and a positive jobs report were not enough to counteract other unexpectedly negative economic indicators.
At the close: DJIA: -0.33%, S&P 500: -0.41%, NASDAQ: -0.36%.
1) With the deepest cuts to defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports, and low growth in business stockpiles, the United States economy unexpectedly shrank from October to December, according to the advance figures released by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Real gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States, contracted by 0.1 percent in the last quarter — the first drop in economic output in 3 1/2 years. This represented a significant slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth reported in the previous three months… (Read more.)