Wall Street climbs after GDP growth revised lower


(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Wednesday after the downward revision of U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter weakened the case for faster increases in interest rates. The U.S. Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate, instead of the previously reported 2.6 percent pace. Strong economic data earlier in the month had raised fear among traders that U.S. interest rates would rise faster than previously expected, sparking Wall Street’s biggest selloff in two years. Even with the gains in recent weeks, the S&P 500 .SPX and the Dow .DJI are still on course for their first monthly fall since last March. “As February comes to a close, large gyrations experienced during the month could very well spill into next month as topic of rates dominates,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York, wrote in a note. By 9:32 a.m. ET, the Dow had added 105.47 points to 25,515.5. The S&P 500 .SPX rose 0.43 percent to 2,756.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 0.52 percent to 7,368.17. A string of retail earnings drove gains in the S&P retail index .SPXRT, which was up 0.94 percent. Online retailer Etsy (ETSY.O) jumped 18 percent after its revenue beat estimates, and off-price apparel seller TJX (TJX.N) rose 6.5 percent after reporting upbeat same-store sales. Shares of No.2 home improvement chain Lowe’s (LOW.N) fell nearly 9 percent after its quarterly profit and margins missed estimates as it spent heavily to take on competition. Celgene (CELG.O) fell 6 percent after U.S. health regulators rejected the company’s application seeking approval of a key multiple sclerosis drug. A Reuters analysis showed global investors cut their equity exposure to a three-month low in February, though most still expect stocks to test new highs despite rising bond yields. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, was last at 2.8825 percent after spiking as much as 2.9250 percent on Tuesday. Wall Street’s main volatility gauge, the CBOE Volatility index .VIX eased to 17.56 points after hitting as much as 18.98 during Powell’s testimony. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,960 to 475. On the Nasdaq, 1,577 issues rose and 628 fell. Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’SilvaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters