Stocks Opened Higher on GDP Data

U.S. stocks started with gains on Friday after a softer-than-expected reading on first-quarter US economic growth. The  Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 13.25 points, to 13,217.87. The S&P 500 rose 0.44 point, to 1,400.42. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.56 point, to 3,051.17.

Economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a slower pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderating from the fourth quarter’s 3 percent rate.

Amazon.com Inc. surprised Wall Street with a far-better-than-expected profit in the first quarter, driven in part by a vague-sounding “better product mix” and booming third-party sales. Amazon’s first-quarter results blew past Wall Street estimates, with net income of $130 million, or 28 cents a share, on a 34% jump in revenue to $13.18 billion.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) said Friday its first-quarter profit fell to $1.4 billion, or 35 cents a share, from $2.55 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Ford earned 39 cents a share in the latest period. Revenue fell to $32.4 billion from $33.1 billion.

Procter & Gamble Co. said Friday its third-quarter net income slipped 16 percent as price increases and an uptick in revenue did not offset high costs for raw material and others related to a restructuring. First-quarter net profit fell 16% to $2.4 billion, or 82 cents a share, from $2.87 billion, or 96 cents a share. The quarter includes non-core charges of 13 cents per share. Sales rose 2% to $20.2 billion, versus $20 billion in the year-ago period and rose 3% on an organic basis.

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