The fourth-quarter GDP was revised upward to 2.6%, slightly below the consensus of 2.8%. Weekly jobless claims fell by more than expected to the lowest level in four months.A number of Fed officials are scheduled to speak Thursday.
The S&P 500 dipped back into negative territory and was down 2 points, or 0.1%, at 1,850.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 16 points at 16,250.The Nasdaq Composite was down 14 points, or 0.3%, at 4,159.47.
Markets are showing a little fatigue and probably goes back to tapering starting to have more impact.Despite better than-expected GDP and jobless data it turned out to be bad for the market, where the good news probably means the rates will go up higher, earlier.The rise of rates and the end of QE may be being underestimated on how negative it might be for the market despite of improving economy.
We are in the final days of the first quarter, which means portfolio managers are shifting and allocating money and perhaps causing a rotation from the sectors. If we begin to see the rotation out of cyclicals and into defensive sectors, that would mean investors are turning cautious.
Government data showed that the economy’s growth in the fourth quarter was bumped up to 2.6%, mainly because of higher health-care spending, while weekly unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in four months, offering further evidence that U.S. layoffs have slowed sharply and perhaps a hint that hiring is about to pick up.
Slumping for an eighth month, a gauge of pending home sales fell 0.8% in February to the lowest level in more than two years, signaling that upcoming activity may slow, the National Association of Realtors reported.
Among today’s Fed officials scheduled to speak, Cleveland Fed president Sandra Pianalto spoke ahead of the market open.
In a speech at the University of Dayton Pianalto said “no single data point will determine how long the Federal Reserve can keep short-term interest rates low.”
“We will be watching labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments. It is a complicated world out there,” Pianalto said.
New York Fed President William Dudley will speak on lessons from “three decades of crises” in New York at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
Later, Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo will speak on foreign bank regulation at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. at 8:20 p.m. Eastern, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will speak in Hong Kong about U.S. economic policy at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.
Citigroup shares fell 5.5% after the bank failed to measure up to the Federal Reserve’s stress-test requirements. Citi wasn’t the only bank to be told late Wednesday that it needs to shore up its capital plans, but it was the biggest, and the news seemed to catch investors -- and the bank -- off guard.
In other markets, gold prices fell below the key $1,300-an-ounce level, while oil pushed higher.