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The Markets Now: Stocks and Commodities Remain Lower Today After Chinese GDP Report

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Plus, a drop in commodity prices hits resource and energy companies.

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Stocks have remained lower today. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported today that Chinese GDP increased 7.7% year-over-year in the first quarter, less than the 8% median forecast made by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.90% to 14,731.81. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 1.10% to 1,571.45, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 1.38% to 3,249.56.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today in its Empire State Manufacturing Survey that the general business conditions index fell from 9.24 to 3.05 in April. The index has remained positive for the past three months, but the growth has slowed down. A positive reading indicates growth in general conditions. Read the full report here.

The National Association of Homebuilders, or NAH, reported today that its Housing Market Index for newly built, single family homes in April fell to 42 from 44 in March. The NAH cited increased "costs for building materials" and increased "concerns about the supply of developed lots and labor" as the reason for the decline. Read the press release here.

The US Treasury reported today that US accounts in February bought $17.8 billion more in foreign securities than foreign accounts bought US securities according to the Treasury International Capital report.

The US Treasury announced today that it will auction $45 billion in 4-week Treasury bills tomorrow. Plus, the Treasury auctioned $35 billion worth of 3-month Treasury bills with a rate of 0.055% with a 4.40 bid-to-cover ratio and $30 billion worth 6-month Treasury bills with a 0.090% rate with a 4.85 bid-to-cover ratio.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 1.57% to $423.04. Apple had four of the five highest paid employees for companies listed on the S&P 500 in 2012; the executives are Bob Mansfield, Bruce Sewell, Jeffrey Williams, and Peter Oppenheimer.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) increased 2.31% to $45.81. The third-largest US bank reported a net income today that increased 30% to $3.18 billion, or $1.29 per share after excluding an accounting adjustment, versus the $1.17 average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue climbed to $20.5 billion from $19.4 billion in the prior year quarter.

Sprint (NYSE:S) spiked 12.78% to $7.02. Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) offered to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion in cash and stock. Disk Network is competing with Softbank Corporation (TYO:9984) for Sprint.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) declined 4.31% to $39.10.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) plunged 7.14% to $29.64.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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