By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Friday, pressured by concern over euro zone stability and its potential impact on U.S. corporate results and by domestic economic growth data.
U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006.
Adding to concerns, Greece’s finance minister said the government would not cooperate with the European Union and International Monetary Fund mission bankrolling the country and would not seek an extension to the bailout program.
“The equity market is trying to deal with all the uncertainty around the world; today Greece is on everyone’s mind,” said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management in New York.
He said that while sluggish growth in the fourth quarter was disappointing, consumer spending was a bright spot.
“Consumers are not worried about the outlook on the U.S. economy,” he said.
Separate data showed U.S. consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest in 11 years on better job and wage prospects.
That confidence appeared to be reflected in some corporate results. Amazon <AMZN.O> shares jumped 11.4 percent after posting earnings that beat Wall Street expectations on strong sales during the holiday season.
At 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 163.41 points, or 0.94 percent, to 17,253.44, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 20.57 points, or 1.02 percent, to 2,000.68 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 28.68 points, or 0.61 percent, to 4,654.73.
If the S&P closes January in the red, it would be its first back-to-back monthly decline since April-May 2012.
Chevron <CVX.N> said it plans to spend $ 35 billion this year on oil and gas projects, 13 percent less than in 2014. The bulk of that amount – $ 23.4 billion – will be on projects outside the United States. Shares fell 2.5 percent to $ 100.44.
Google Inc <GOOGL.O> shares rose 4 percent to $ 533.68 even as revenue growth of 15 percent in the fourth quarter fell short of Wall Street’s target.
Visa <V.N> rose 4.7 percent to $ 259.67 after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and announced a 4-for-1 split of its class A common stock.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,170 to 782, for a 2.77-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,974 issues fell and 585 advanced for a 3.37-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 10 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 31 new highs and 52 new lows.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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