Stocks Opened Flat after GDP Report

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday as investors waited for a batch of government data to assess the health of the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 39.55 points, or 0.22%, to 18,174.87. The S&P 500 was down 3.88 points, or 0.18%, to 2,106.86. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12.74points, or 0.26%, to 4,975.15.

U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a slow pace of stock accumulation by businesses and a wider trade deficit, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said on
Friday.

Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday and Brent headed for its first monthly gain since July. At 6.48 a.m. ET, Brent crude futures were up 92 cents at $60.97 a barrel, off an earlier high of $61.75.

Germany’s Parliament overwhelmingly approved a four-month extension of Greece’s financial bailout on Friday, despite unease over the new government in Athens.

Airbus Group (AIR.PA) defied warnings of a slowdown in the jetliner market with a steep production boost for its top-selling A320 and announced its biggest ever dividend. The firm’s confidence about demand and a switch to the new A320 model lifted its shares and came despite a fresh charge of 551 million euros (401 million pounds) due to delays to the A400M military transporter.

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