Published January 13, 2015
Stocks edged lower Friday as investors digested lower-than-expected gross domestic product data and nervously watched crude oil settle above $60 a barrel.
The Dow Jones industrial average (search) fell 64.64 points, or 0.60 percent, to end at 10,640.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (search) slid 9.54 points, or 0.77 percent, to finish at 1,234.18. The technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index (search) dropped 13.61 points, or 0.62 percent, to close at 2,184.83.
For the week, the Dow ended off 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent, and Nasdaq gained 0.2 percent.
For the month, the Dow ended up 3.6 percent, the S&P 500 advanced 3.6 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 6.2 percent.
U.S. light sweet crude for September delivery settled at $60.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (search), up 63 cents as refinery fires in the United States revived fears of tight supplies. Earlier, September crude touched a session high at $61.05.
"Oil has spiked up and GDP came in less than some expected on an annualized basis," Kevin Beadles, managing director of institutional trading at Wedbush Morgan, said of the day's declines.
Cyclical, or economically sensitive, stocks fell, including General Electric (GE), which lost 1.1 percent after the report on gross domestic product. GE, a Dow component, fell 38 cents to $34.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Still, better-than-expected earnings from companies like Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) and MetLife Inc. (MET) lent some support to the broader market. Whole Foods shares jumped 11.6 percent to $136.51 on Nasdaq, a day after it reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. Earlier, the stock hit a lifetime high of $137.86.
Shares of MetLife rose to an all-time high of $50.25 as the insurer's second-quarter profit rose more than expected. The stock climbed 2.3 percent, or $1.08, to close at $49.14 on the NYSE.
The Commerce Department's latest reading on GDP (search) showed the economy growing at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent — a strong showing considering the high energy costs that have continued to plague the economy. However, economists had expected GDP growth to come in at 3.5 percent.
But a key barometer of future economic growth, the University of Michigan's (search) consumer sentiment index, showed consumers appear willing to spend despite higher oil and gas prices. The Michigan index's final July reading came in at 96.5, slightly higher than the June reading and in-line with analysts' expectations.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 26/32, or almost a full point, to a price of 98-21/32, pushing its yield up nearly 10 basis points to 4.296 percent, a three-month high.
"I think the stock market finally fell victim to stronger economic news, which led to a decline in Treasury prices and a rise in bond yields," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke in New York. "If bond yields were to rise high enough, that would slow the economy and that would put a lid on equity prices, or lead to a brief pullback."
Wendy's International Inc. (WEN) shares soared to a lifetime high of $52.07 after the fast-food chain said it plans to sell up to 18 percent of its Tim Horton doughnut chain. The shares surged 14.2 percent, or $6.43, to close at $51.70 on the NYSE.
Symantec Corp. (SYMC), the world's biggest security software maker, posted a higher quarterly profit, but it cut its full-year revenue outlook.. Its shares fell 7.7 percent, or $1.84, to $21.95 on Nasdaq.
Unocal (UCL) stock may have lost momentum after two newspapers reported CNOOC (CEO ), could drop its bid for the company. According to the Financial Times and Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, CNOOC is considering whether to raise its bid for Unocal or drop it entirely due to the intense outcry from politicians worried about Chinese ownership of an American energy company. CNOOC's U.S. depositary receipts rose $4.61 to $69.81.
Chevron (CVX) lost 93 cents to $58.01 even after its quarterly earnings beat expectations. While profits fell 11 percent, Chevron's profits were 7 cents per share better than analysts' estimates. The strong showing could make Chevron's bid for Unocal more attractive.
Trading was light on the NYSE, with about 1.39 billion shares changing hands, below last year's daily average of 1.46 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 1.60 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 1.81 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by about 8 to 7 on the Nasdaq.
The Russell 2000 index, which tracks smaller company stocks, closed the week 1.97, or 0.29 percent, higher at 679.75.
The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Composite Index — a free-float weighted index that measures 5,000 U.S.-based companies — ended the week at 12,360.81, up 23.56 points from last week. A year ago the index was 10,701.65.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average rose 0.35 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.23 percent, France's CAC-40 fell 0.24 percent for the session, and Germany's DAX index fell 0.12 percent.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.