Stocks Opened Lower After GDP, Jobless Claims

U.S. stocks declined at Thursday’s start after data showed the domestic economy expanded as expected in the fourth quarter while initial jobless claims were slightly worse than expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 50.36 points to 13,075.85. The S&P 500 Index declined 7.37 points to 1,398.17. The Nasdaq Composite lost 9.68 points to 3,095.28.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the second quarter of 2010, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate on Thursday, unrevised from last month’s estimate.

The Labor Department reported that 359,000 people filed for initial claims. That’s down from the 364,000 who sought help the previous week, a reading that was revised higher.

Electronics retailer Best Buy announced it would close 50 big box locations in the U.S. as it refocuses its operations around mobile. The company said it will launch 100 new mobile locations as it retools its domestic store format. Over the final quarter of 2011, revenue grew three percent to $16.6 billion  while earnings per share hit $2.47.

News Corporation is in discussions to create a cable sports network that would compete with the industry leader, ESPN. The news service reported that News Corporation had begun an ambitious effort to create a sports-only cable network, possibly by converting one of the existing channels it owns.

Less than four months after Zynga’s public market debut, the online gaming company has priced a secondary offering of nearly 43 million shares at $12 each. The offering, comprised of shares from a group of early investors and executives, will raise about $515.6 million. Its underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, also have the option to buy an additional 6.4 million shares from the selling shareholders.






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