US futures give up gains after growth data release
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures gave up some early gains Thursday after the government released weak economic growth data for the final quarter of 2012.
Dow Jones industrial futures fell 6 points to 14,054. S&P futures rose less than a point to 1,516.20. Nasdaq futures tacked on 2.75 points to 2,743.25.
The U.S. economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate from October through December, the worst showing in nearly two years. Economists had been looking for a revised 0.5 percent annual rate of growth.
The Dow is still within striking distance of its all-time closing high, reached in October 2007, after two days of gains more than erased a 216-point stumble Monday. But the gross domestic product numbers released by the Commerce Department before the opening bell dimmed optimism about setting a record.
Still, while only a slight improvement, the GDP report reverses earlier estimates that the economy actually shrank and showed a strong export economy and rising business investment.
Also on Thursday, the Labor Department said that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits shrank by 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000. The four-week average of applications dropped 6,750 to 355,000, the first drop in the less volatile measure of hiring in three weeks.
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