Can The U.S. Economy Reverse In The First Quarter After Final Reading Of 4Q GDP?

Category: Economy / Mar 28, 2013 4:24PM EDT
Wall Street rose on Thursday as the S&P 500 set a record closing high. Earlier in the session, stocks were flat after jobless claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average for new claims rose 2,250 to 343,000. A separate report showed the U.S. economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the fourth quarter of 2012, however GDP was revised up as the U.S. economy grew at a 0.4 percent annual rate, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday. Although the fourth quarter's pace has been revised upward, the 0.4 percent growth is still the lowest for any three-month period since the first-quarter of 2011. According to the New York Times, much of the weakness at the end of 2012 came from a "slowdown in inventory accumulation and a sharp drop in military spending." Chicago PMI fell below expectations in March as it dropped 4.4 percentage points to 52.4 percent. Any reading over 50 percent indicates expansion. Preliminary figures showed the S&P 500 finished at 1,569.19, up 6.34 points or 0.41 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,578.54, up 52.38 or 0.36 percent. The Nasdaq composite index ended at 3,267.52, up 11.00 or 0.34 percent.