Wall Street stocks fell on Friday after weak economic growth figures for the second quarter and disappointing earnings from Merck painted an uncertain outlook for the rest of the year.
A jump in a barometer of U.S. Midwest business in July, however, helped indexes cut some losses.
Drug maker Merck & Co reported a profit that beat the average analyst estimate, but its sales were less than Wall Street's forecast. The stock fell 3.3 percent to $33.89.
The Commerce Department's gross domestic product (GDP) report, the first estimate of economic growth for the April-June period, expanded at 2.4 percent annual rate, versus analysts' forecast of 2.5 percent as a capital investment drive by business saw imports increasing at their fastest pace since the first quarter of 1984.
U.S. consumer sentiment plunged in July to its lowest level since November 2009 on bleak prospects for jobs and income a year since the economic recovery began, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers.
Investors have been rattled by disappointing data recently, and more are talking about the possibility of a double-dip recession.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer, though, showed business activity in the Midwest grew more than expected this month as businesses boosted employment and orders.
The market is kind of getting caught in a cross-fire here, not really sure which of those numbers to lean on, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
My guess is they will focus more on the PMI and confidence numbers, because they are more near-term.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 28.31 points, or 0.27 percent, at 10,438.85. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.75 points, or 0.34 percent, at 1,097.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 9.44 points, or 0.42 percent, at 2,242.25. Weak outlook from technology companies weighed on the Nasdaq for a second day.
Chevron Corp , the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported a three-fold jump in quarterly profit, topping Wall Street forecasts but its shares were down 0.4 percent at $75.70.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)