Stock market sinks in midday trading; S&P 500 index on course for nearly 3pct monthly loss

The stock market is heading lower in midday trading as investors sift through mixed economic and corporate news.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 172 points, or 1 percent, to 17,245 as of 11:45 a.m. Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 20 points, or 1 percent, to 2,001, while the Nasdaq slipped 23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,661.

The S&P 500 benchmark is on track to end the month with a nearly 3 percent loss.

Before the market opened, the government said the economy grew at a slower pace than Wall Street expected in the last quarter of 2014. Weaker government and business spending held the economy back.

The news sent prices for U.S. government bonds up, pushing the 10-year Treasury note's yield to 1.66 percent.