Wall St slips on weak data

STOCKS edged lower on Wall Street on Friday after data showing the US economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter gave traders a reason to cash recent gains.

Major indexes closed up for April, however, with the Nasdaq up for six consecutive months, the longest streak in about four years.

Gross domestic product grew at a 0.7 per cent annual rate, below the 1.2 per cent rise estimated by economists, as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less in inventories.

The economy grew at a 2.1 per cent pace in the fourth quarter.

“GDP was a little bit light and that may be the cause of some weakness today,” said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

Citi Research’s gauge on US economic data surprises .CESIUSD turned negative for the first time since November.

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