US stocks decline as tech sector overshadows positive GDP report
New York: US stocks fell Friday, capping the Dow Jones Industrial Average`s worst month in nearly a year, despite government figures showing the economy grew at its fastest pace in six years last quarter.
The markets did begin the day higher after the Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the final three months of 2009, beating economists` forecast of a 4.7-percent gain.
The growth in fourth-quarter economic output signals a stronger-than-expected recovery from the deepest US recession in decades and is more than double the 2.2-percent growth of the previous quarter.
But investors focused on depressing news from the technology sector. Microsoft shares fell after the company`s chief financial officer said the economic recovery had yet to boost demand for software. Apple shares also declined more than two percent despite its unveiling of the iPad tablet computer this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.13 points, or 0.52 percent, closing at 10,073.87. The broader Standard & Poor`s 500 Index lost 10.66 points, or 0.98 per cent, to 1,073.87. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 31.65 points, or 1.45 percent, to 2,147.35.
The Dow fell 1.04 per cent on the week and plunged 3.46 percent during the first month of 2010. The S&P 500 dropped 1.64 percent this week and 3.7 percent in January. The Nasdaq plummeted 2.63 percent in the last five days and tumbled 5.37 percent over the month.
The US currency climbed against the euro to 72.13 euro cents from 71.58 euro cents Thursday. But the dollar gained against the Japanese currency to 90.29 yen from 89.91 yen a day earlier.
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