Weighed Down by Disappointing Q4 GDP, U.S. Stocks Decline

U.S. stocks edged lower in morning session on Friday after disappointing fourth-quarter data on domestic economic growth published before the market open.

The S&P 500 index lost more than 0.1% but remained near its all-time high set on Wednesday.

According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. economy expanded at a slower-than-expected speed in the fourth quarter which sent annual growth below 3% for an 11th straight year. Gross domestic product’s expansion reached 1.9% in the three-month period to December. The reading was much lower than a 3.5% growth rate in the third quarter and a 2.2% estimated by analysts.

Consumer staples, real estate and energy shares were leading losses, while health care and information technology topped the market.

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