Stocks remained on course for weekly gains Friday, as investors parsed corporate earnings reports and fresh policy signals from the new U.S. administration. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 4.4 points, or less than 0.1%, to 20097 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 edged slightly lower, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.
Stocks and Treasury yields were mostly steady after data showed the U.S. economy decelerated in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the final three months of 2016, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2.2% growth rate. In addition, demand for long-lasting manufactured goods declined in December.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 2.496%, compared with 2.508% Thursday. In corporate news, shares of Intel rose 1.1% after the chip giant beat earnings and revenue expectations, while Microsoft gained 1.6% after reporting the usage of Azure computing services more than doubled from a year earlier. Shares of Alphabet added 0.8% even after the Google parent missed profit estimates. Despite the day's pause, global stocks remain on track to end the week higher after the Dow industrials closed above the 20000 mark for the first time ever and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both climbed to record highs. The VIX, considered Wall Street's "fear gauge," hit a more than two-year low this week as signs of an improving global economy and business-friendly policies in the U.S. have helped support risk appetite
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Greg is a former Chicago Board of Trade member. He was an independent floor trader, pit broker and floor broker with Cantor Fitzgerald. Some of his clients included traders from Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. He also acted in the capacity of desk manager for the morning trade desk. Greg was part of the elite Lind Plus Division for 10 years before joining RJO Futures in 2011.