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U.S. stocks Friday morning were trading slightly lower as investors weighed disappointing fourth-quarter data on domestic economic growth and a spate of earnings, including disappointing results from Dow component Chevron.
Still, the main indexes were on track to book weekly profits during a period marked by the Dow surpassing the psychologically important level of 20,000.
Weighing on the Dow, Chevron Corp. shares CVX, -2.27% fell nearly 3% after the company missed profit and revenue estimates for the fourth quarter.
The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.16% was off by 3 points, or 0.1% at 2,293, hovering near its all-time high set on Wednesday. Consumer staples and energy shares were leading losses, while health care and telecoms gained.
Meanwhile, the losses in the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.05% were slightly firmer, down 10 points, or 0.2%, to 5,645.
For the week, the Dow is on track to register a gain of 1.3%, the S&P 500 index is on pace for a 1% advance, while the Nasdaq Composite is aiming for a 1.7% climb.
Analysts said investors have retreated to a wait-and-see mode as they look for more details on Trump administration’s policies and corporations.
“Stocks have been trading sideways since mid-December after a rally after the elections. While favorable earnings and still-favorable economic data underpin most recent gains, markets would still like more clarity on fiscal policies and more clarity from corporations on how they see it would impact them,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve, U.S. Bank.
On the economic front, a reading of U.S. gross domestic product showed that the economy slowed in the fourth quarter and annual growth failed to reach 3% for the 11th straight year. Meanwhile, durable-goods orders also fell in December for the second month in a row. Those lackluster results may have given little cause for enthusiasm among perspective equity buyers.
U.K.’s Theresa May meets Trump to talk trade
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday will become the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump since he took office. In a tricky balancing act, she has to lay the ground for a trade deal with the U.S. and avoid antagonizing European leaders. Photo: Reuters
On Friday, Trump will meet with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May for his first round of trade talks with another country. The two have signaled they want to strengthen the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K. by forging a solid trade deal. However, stark differences on trade already stand out ahead of the talks.
Trump has pushed an “America first” policy of protectionism and decried multilateral trade deals, while May has promoted her vision of Britain as the biggest proponent of free trade. May also stressed that any trade agreement with the U.S. would put British interests first.
Can’t quite put my finger on it but something doesn’t add up here pic.twitter.com/au2CgSChP4
— Danny Quah (@DannyQuah) January 26, 2017
Economic news: Consumer sentiment rose to 98.5 in the final January reading, according to University of Michigan.
There are no Federal Reserve speakers on tap as the central bank is in its blackout period ahead of its policy-setting meeting next week.
American Airlines Group Inc. AAL, -4.74% shares fell 1.7% even as the company beat earnings expectations.