Stocks Lower in Early Trading, Sentiment Weighed Down by GDP Data

U.S. stocks slipped in red territory by early trade on Wednesday as market sentiment took a beating due to unexpectedly weak U.S. GDP data, which overshadowed strong job numbers.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index fell 0.10%; the NASDAQ Composite Index tacked higher 0.03%while the S&P 500 Index was down 0.13%.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. economy contracted 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 while economists were expecting it to grow by 1% YOY. In the third quarter the GDP grew by 3.1% annualized rate.

A job report released from the ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed that the U.S. private sector added 192,000 new jobs in January, beating economists’ expectation for 165,000 new job additions.

Dow Component, The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) reported better than expected fiscal fourth-quarter results on Wednesday and said that grounding of 787 Dreamliner passenger jets will not have any “significant impact” on fiscal 2013 results. Shares edged up in early trade.

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) leaped nearly 7.50%, at last check. On Tuesday, the Company announced that Audrey McClendon, who is considered as a bold and innovative leader but marred by allegations of misusing company’s funds for personal gains, decided to step down from his position on April 1 2013.

Shares of Copano Energy L.L.C. (NASDAQ: CPNO)  rallied 17% in early trade after the natural gas company agreed to be acquired by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) in a stock deal estimated at$3.72 billion.

After the closing bell, social networking giant, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is expected to report quarterly results.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day Open Market Committee Meeting (FOMC) is scheduled to end later today and the bank is expected to announce its policy statement at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Elsewhere in Europe, all leading benchmark indexes hovered in red territory with Pan European Stoxx 600 Index down 0.51%, at last check.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.

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