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The Markets Now: Stocks Pull Back After GDP, Consumer Sentiment Reports


Plus, George Soros revealed that he owns a stake in JC Penney.

Stocks fell today after the advance estimate for first-quarter GDP came in lower than anticipated. Also, consumer sentiment weakened in April. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.03% to 14,696.11. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 0.42% to 1,578.45, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.61% to 3,269.82.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today its advance estimate for real gross domestic product, or GDP. According to the first estimate, GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.5% from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. Personal consumption expenditures, exports, residential investment, and nonresidential fixed investment contributed to GDP while federal, state, and local government spending contributed negatively to the estimate. Imports, which subtract from GDP, grew in the first quarter. The second estimate will be released on May 30. Read the full report here.

The Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported today that its Consumer Sentiment Index fell to a three-month low of 76.4 in April from 78.6 in March. The final number surpassed the preliminary April reading of 72.3.

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) spiked 8.92% to $16.60. George Soros reported yesterday that he has a 7.9% stake in the retailer.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) plunged 7.24% to $254.81. Yesterday, the world's largest online retailer reported a first-quarter net income of $82 million, or $0.18 per share, compared to $130 million, or $0.28 per share, in the prior-year quarter, a 37% decline. Amazon reported operating income of $181 million, and sales rose 22% from the prior-year quarter to $16.1 billion.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) fell 1.26% to $29.88. The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use rejected Pfizer's new rheumatoid arthritis treatment Xeljanz yesterday. Pfizer will appeal and "immediately seek a re-examination of the opinion."

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.02% to $412.55.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) increased 3.34% to $20.25.
Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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