Stocks Opened Lower after GDP Data

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, after the report showed that US economy contracted mildly in first quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately dipped 63.43 points, or 0.35%, to 18,080.64. The S&P 500 shed 3.12 points, or 0.15%, to 2,121.08. The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.44 points, or 0.11%, to 5,154.65.

The U.S. economy contracted slightly in the first quarter as it struggled with bad weather, a strong dollar, spending cuts in the energy sector and disruptions at West Coast ports. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday gross domestic product fell at a 0.2 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter instead of the 0.7 percent pace of contraction it reported last month.

Greece’s leader was trying to bridge differences with creditors Wednesday on a plan to make more reforms in Greece in exchange for bailout loans the country needs to avoid a potentially disastrous default.

Ikea’s U.S division is raising the minimum wage for the second year in a row as the Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture chain looks to improve its relations with workers and reduce worker turnover. Starting Jan. 1, Ikea’s average minimum hourly wage will increase to $11.87, which is $4.62 above the current federal wage and marks a $1.11 increase, or 10 percent.

Wal-Mart Stores will begin charging fees to almost all vendors for stocking their items in new stores and for warehousing inventory, raising pressure on suppliers as the world’s largest retailer battles higher costs from wage hikes.






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