This story was updated at 4:45 p.m. EDT.
U.S. stocks ended down Thursday after spending most of the day in negative territory after the U.S. Commerce Department reported significantly slower third-quarter GDP growth. The slowdown was attributed to a downturn in business inventory investment, especially for exports, despite strong domestic demand. A separate monthly report from the National Association of Realtors showing lower demand for existing homes didn’t help trader sentiments.
The sluggish U.S. growth in the July-September period could reduce the chance of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve rate hike in December, which would raise borrowing costs across the economy. A rate liftoff before the end of the year would be the first in nearly a decade.
“While a below-trend quarter for growth implies the accumulation of some economic slack, the Federal Reserve will be comforted by the momentum in the domestic economy," David Tulk, head of global macro strategy at TD Securities, wrote in a note. This means that despite the lower GDP growth, from 3.9 percent in the second quarter to 1.5 percent in the third, a rate hike, however modest, is still a strong possibility in December.
Contracts to buy existing homes declined 2.3 percent from August to September, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors. It was the second consecutive month of declines, but it was 3 percent higher than September 2014.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) lost 23.72 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,756 on Thursday while the S&P 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) fell by 0.94 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,089. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) declined by 21.42 points, or 0.42 percent, to 5,074.
Six out of 10 S&P 500 sectors closed down Thursday, led by declined in utilities and tech companies. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) led gains among the Dow 30 industrials, while Intel Corporation (Nasdaq:INTC) led declines.
We’re about halfway through third-quarter earnings season. Here are some notable movers who reported earnings either after markets closed Wednesday or before markets opened Thursday:
GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq:GPRO) missed on revenue and profit estimates in the July-September quarter on lower-than-expected sales of wearable cameras. Shares in the California maker of small high-definition mountable and wearable cameras dropped nearly 15.19 percent on Thursday, to $25.62. The company’s stock is down nearly 60 percent since the start of the year.
Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) posted a quarterly loss larger than analysts had expected, but met forecasts on its revenue for the July-September quarter, which was welcomed by investors. Shares in the California online business directory and customer reviewing site increased 3.85 percent to $22.95 on Thursday. Yelp stock is down more than 58 percent for the year.
PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq:PYPL) said a stronger dollar impacted its July-September quarter, but the Silicon Valley online payments processor still met revenue forecasts and beat profit expectations. The company derives about half of its revenue in currencies other than the dollar. PayPal shares dropped 1.67 percent to $35.91 on Thursday. The company’s stock is down more than 2 percent for the year.
Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq:BWLD) missed revenue and profit forecasts for its July-September quarter, blaming higher labor costs for its results. Stock in the Minnesota restaurant chain plunged 17.33 percent to $152.45 on Thursday. Shares are down more than 15 percent since the start of the year.
Marriott International Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) reported better-than-expected profit but disappointing revenue in its last quarter, and it lowered its guidance for the last three months of the year. Shares in the Maryland-based global hotel chain settled slightly up, by 0.12 percent to $76.98 on Thursday. The company’s share price is down 1.35 percent for the year.
Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for its recently completed quarter, which sent the company’s share price up 14.64 percent to $31.64 on Thursday. The North Carolina-based maker of underwear and athletic apparel also raised its full-year forecast based on recent successful acquisitions. The company’s share price is up more than 13 percent for the year.
Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) raised its full-year forecast in its July-September quarterly report in which the Connecticut-based healthcare benefits company beat estimates on profit but missed on revenue on a decline in medical-plan subscribers. Aetna’s share price jumped nearly 3.39 percent to $114.88 on Thursday. The company’s share price is up more than 29 percent for the year.