Data Weighs on Wall Street; Indexes Post May Gains

Markets Reuters

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday as data showed the economy contracted in the first quarter but indexes still posted gains for the month.

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Transportation shares also weighed on the market, extending recent losses. The Dow Jones transportation average <.DJT> fell 0.8 percent, putting it just shy of correction territory, almost 10 percent below its 2014 high.

Data showed the U.S. economy contracted at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the quarter, a sharp turnaround from the earlier estimate of growth of 0.2 percent.

Weak reports on factory activity in the Midwest and consumer sentiment for May suggested that the growth pace was modest early in the second quarter.

"We had some weak numbers, but it's the end of the month for the trading of May, which can sometimes cause a selloff. It's also Friday and Greece worries are still in the marketplace," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew repeated warnings on Friday not to minimize the global stability risk of Greece sliding out of the euro zone.

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The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 115.44 points, or 0.64 percent, to 18,010.68, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 13.4 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,107.39 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 27.95 points, or 0.55 percent, to 5,070.03.

For the month, the Dow was up 1 percent, the S&P 500 was up 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq gained 2.6 percent.

For the week, stocks posted losses, however. The Dow was down 1.2 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.4 percent.

Weighing on the market Friday, shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb <BMY.N> tumbled 6.6 percent, its biggest daily drop since 2012, following a company presentation at a cancer meeting. The stock had gained 8.5 percent this month before the presentation.

Humana <HUM.N> jumped 20.3 percent to a record high after a source said it is considering selling itself.

Intel <INTC.O> was up 1.3 percent to $34.46. People familiar with the matter said it has resumed talks to buy programmable-chip maker Altera Corp <ALTR.O> and is close to a $16 billion deal. Altera rose 4 percent to $48.85.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,097 to 945, for a 2.22-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,723 issues fell and 1,039 advanced for a 1.66-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 7 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 77 new highs and 36 new lows.

About 7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 6.1 billion daily average for May, according to BATS Global Markets.

(By Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Nick Zieminski)