Wednesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The U.S. equity markets were down but relatively flat on Wednesday afternoon. Investors, who have tried to turn their collars up to economic headwinds in order to focus on earnings, couldn’t ignore today’s report that fourth-quarter GDP unexpectedly shrank.

At 12:30 p.m.: DJIA: -0.13%, S&P 500: -0.11%, NASDAQ: -0.04%.

Here are three stories moving markets on Wednesday:Bear Crossing

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 advance figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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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 three-and-a-half years. This represented a significant slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth reported in the previous three months… (Read more.)